Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Borrowed from Latin physicalis, from physica, from Ancient Greek φυσική (phusikḗ), feminine singular of φυσικός (phusikós).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈfɪzɪkəl/
  • (file)


physical (comparative more physical, superlative most physical)

  1. Having to do with the body.
    Are you feeling any physical effects?
  2. Having to do with the material world.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Stuart Mill and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Labour, in the physical world, is [] employed in putting objects in motion.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 1, in The History of England from the Accession of James II:
      A society sunk in ignorance, and ruled by mere physical force.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.
    It's not so much a physical place as a state of mind.
  3. Involving bodily force.
    This team plays a very physical game, so watch out.
  4. Having to do with physics.
    • 2012 January 1, Michael Riordan, “Tackling Infinity”, in American Scientist[2], volume 100, number 1, page 86:
      Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the theories.
    The substance has a number of interesting physical properties.
  5. (computing) Not virtual; directly corresponding to hardware operation.
  6. (obsolete) Relating to physic, or medicine; medicinal; curative; also, cathartic; purgative.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



physical (plural physicals)

  1. Physical examination.
    How long has it been since your last physical?
    Synonyms: checkup, check-up