practical

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English practical, practicale, praktycall, from Medieval Latin practicālis.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹæktɪkəl/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: prac‧ti‧cal

Adjective[edit]

practical (comparative more practical, superlative most practical)

  1. Relating to, or based on, practice or action rather than theory or hypothesis.
    Jack didn't get an engineering degree, but has practical knowledge of metalworking.
    Modern engineering applies science to practical problems.
  2. Being likely to be effective and applicable to a real situation; able to be put to use
    Jack's knowledge has the practical benefit of giving us useful prototype parts.
  3. Of a person, having skills or knowledge that are practical
    All in all, Jack's a very practical chap.
  4. (theater, not comparable) Of a prop: having some degree of functionality, rather than being a mere imitation.
  5. (film) Light fixtures used for set lighting and seen in the frame of a shot as part of the scenery.
    Practical lighting can help sell the illusion that the film is a real situation.

Usage notes[edit]

Example of use contrasted with practicable:

  • "While others might agree that it was practical to rewrite the entire section, it was not truly practicable given other considerations."

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Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

practical (plural practicals)

  1. (Britain) A part of an exam or series of exams in which the candidate has to demonstrate their practical ability
  2. (theater) A prop that has some degree of functionality, rather than being a mere imitation.
    • 2013, Deena Kaye, ‎James LeBrecht, Sound and Music for the Theatre: The Art & Technique of Design
      Practicals are used onstage as they would be used in real life. If the sound cue is to be from a radio or television, give qualities to the recording that will maintain the sense of the medium.
  3. (film) A light fixture used for set lighting and seen in the frame of a shot as part of the scenery.
    • 2001, Francis Reid, The Stage Lighting Handbook (page 124)
      A naturalistic set is normally dressed with all the furnishings and props to be found in a real room. This includes electric light fittings which, when they actually light, are known as practicals.
  4. Laboratory experiment, test or investigation

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