I am trying to think of a word, other than mature, that means "to have a lot of life experience" and that would be able to describe a person with such. (By "life experience" I mean more than just growing up and learning to live in the world; more like "to be good at interacting with people and dealing with things negative and positive as if it were a skill.")

For instance the word guile can mean to have sly or cunning intelligence (from a quick google search of "define guile"). So with guile you could say that a person has plenty of guile.

  • Kinda looking for only 1 word answers. I was thinking much of what has already been said but its kinda more specific that that. May 13, 2014 at 22:35
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    "...but its kinda more specific that that." OK, you want a specific word for all those characteriatics rolled into one? Sly, cunning, skilled, savvy, world-wise, experienced, mature, and good with people, too? You're probably not going to get one in English. German, maybe. This is one reasons that sentences contain more than three or four words. It took you several sentences to describe this person. May 13, 2014 at 22:45
  • senile, fossil, fossilated, fossilized, senesce, ripened, dinosaur. May 13, 2014 at 23:58
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    I'd be careful with the word "guile," as it has a decidedly negative denotation and connotation. A guileless person is completely honest, straight-forward, and without pretense. On the other hand, a person characterized by guile may in fact be sly and cunningly intelligent, as you point out, but he channels his efforts in morally and ethically suspect ways. May 14, 2014 at 0:52
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    I think "hooker" is the word you're looking for.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:08

7 Answers 7


worldly-wise (or world-wise)

Prepared by experience for life’s difficulties; not easily shocked or deceived

Lisa was sufficiently worldly-wise to understand the situation

or worldly

Experienced in human affairs; sophisticated or worldly-wise:

"an experienced and worldly man who had been almost everywhere"

have been around (a bit) (informal)

if someone has been around, they have had a lot of experience of life and know a lot of things

She's been around a bit - she should know how to look after herself.

a man/woman of the world

someone who has a lot of experience of life, and is not usually shocked by the way people behave

You're a man of the world, Roger, I'd appreciate your advice on a rather delicate matter.

Also ripe, seasoned, hardbitten can be used in this context.

  • Or simply 'worldly'
    – Sam
    May 13, 2014 at 22:56
  • I have never heard worldly-wise in my life. BE? May 13, 2014 at 23:11


To render competent through trial and experience: a lawyer who had been seasoned by years in the trial courts.



I would say that person is street smart|wise.

Can also say you are wise beyond your years.


You might want to consider life-hardened.


I have always used "sophisticate."

A sophisticate is someone who is sophisticated, which means finely experienced and aware.

It also means someone having a refined knowledge of the ways of the world cultivated especially through wide experience.

Also, it is a noun, just like you asked.

  • Even more, they are 'really phisticated'.
    – Mitch
    Aug 17, 2015 at 12:56

Wisened. A wisened old codger who's seen it all, done it all, tried and failed, and tried again only sometimes to the tune of sweet success. Guile is a tool, a weapon. It can be used for good, though. For instance in situations were damage is minimal in order to effect the greater good. One must sacrifice wholesomeness sometimes to get the job done in order not to get burdened with trying to remain constantly righteous. It cannot be done.

For instance, I used guile to sneak into this computer lab at my college during someone else's class time in order to describe this concept to you.

Greater good.

  • 'Wizened' means 'old and dried up'. 'Wisened' might be the past participle of 'wisen' (a questionable reference), as in "He shouldn't have played with fire, he should have wisened up", is very informal and means 'get smarter' not the general 'worldly'.
    – Mitch
    Aug 17, 2015 at 12:55

Expedient, street smart, penerating mind, has both depth and width( the word i am looking for; can "see the the whole horizon")? Refine and balance. Wise and wisdom. I too cant find any word that fills the bill, in chinese we have alot of words like that.

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