man of the world


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

man of the world

A man who is very experienced and sophisticated. I value Robert's advice because he's a man of the world and can provide good insight into the customs of high society.
See also: man, of, world

man of the world

Also, woman of the world. A sophisticated person, experienced in social conventions. For example, You can discuss anything with him-he's a man of the world, or She's a woman of the world and understands these delicate issues. The first expression dates from about 1200 and originally meant "a man of the secular world" or "a married man" (that is, not a priest). Shakespeare applied this latter sense in As You Like It (5:3) where Audrey, at the prospect of marriage, says: "I hope it is no dishonest desire to be a woman of the world." Henry Fielding in Tom Jones (1749) also echoed this earlier sense: "A man of the world; that is to say, a man who directs his conduct in this world as one, who being fully persuaded there is no other, is resolved to make the most of this." By the mid-1800s the idea of sophistication had replaced this meaning.
See also: man, of, world

a man of the world

or

a woman of the world

If you call someone a man of the world or a woman of the world, you mean that they have had a lot of experiences and are not easily shocked. Look, we are both men of the world, would anyone really mind? She was an elegant, clever and tough woman of the world.
See also: man, of, world

a man (or woman) of the world

a person who is experienced and practical in human affairs.
See also: man, of, world

a man/woman of the ˈworld

a person with a lot of experience of life, who is not easily surprised or shocked
See also: man, of, woman, world

man of the world, a

An experienced, sophisticated individual. Originally (sixteenth century) this term meant simply a married man, as opposed to a “man of the church,” that is, a priest, who was celibate and a man of God or the spirit. Shakespeare echoed this definition when he has Audrey reply to Touchstone’s statement that they would marry tomorrow: “I do desire it . . . and I hope it is no dishonest desire to be a woman of the world” (As You Like It, 5.3). It is not exactly clear when the term began to denote sophistication (worldliness), but it certainly did by the time Emerson used it in The Conduct of Life (1860): “The finished man of the world must eat of every apple once.”
See also: man, of