lit.: 'one of the many folk', 'worldling', ordinary man, is any layman or monk who is still possessed of all the 10 fetters (samyojana, q.v.) binding to the round of rebirths, and therefore has not yet reached any of the 4 stages of holiness (s. ariya-puggala).
"Whoso is neither freed from the 3 fetters (personality-belief, sceptical doubt, attachment to mere rule and ritual), nor is on the way to lose these 3 things, such a one is called a worlding" (Pug. 9).
According to Com. to M.9, a 'worlding' may be
(1) an outsider (a non-Buddhist) who, if he believed in moral causation, may be said to have right view to that extent; but he has not the 'knowledge conforming to the Truths' (saccānulomika-ñāna), as has
(2) the 'worldling inside the Buddha's Dispensation' (sāsanika).
A worlding who professes Buddhism, may be either
a 'blind worldling' (andha-p.) who has neither knowledge of, nor interest in the fundamental teaching (the Truths, groups, etc.);
or he is a 'noble worldling' (kalyāna-p.), who has such knowledge and earnestly strives to understand and practise the Teaching. -
See Atthasālini Tr. II, 451 (tr. by 'average man'); Com. to M.1, D.1.