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Earthly and Earthy

Commonly Confused Words


The adjective earthly means relating to the earth or to life on earth. Earthly also means possible or conceivable.

The adjective earthy means resembling soil, or unrefined, natural, simple.


  • For many years Oliver lived without any hope of an earthly reward.

  • What earthly reason could Lawrence have for killing Colonel Protheroe?

  • Rain doesn't smell, but before a rain there may be a musty or earthy odor in the air.

  • Agnes had blond hair, blue eyes, and an earthy sense of humor.


(a) Chalk is a soft, fine-grained rock with an _____ texture.

(b) No one has yet shown that life of any kind other than _____ life exists in the cosmos.

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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