adjective phys·i·cal \ˈfi-zi-kəl\

: relating to the body of a person instead of the mind

: existing in a form that you can touch or see

: involving or related to sex

Full Definition of PHYSICAL

a :  of or relating to natural science
b (1) :  of or relating to physics
(2) :  characterized or produced by the forces and operations of physics
a :  having material existence :  perceptible especially through the senses and subject to the laws of nature <everything physical is measurable by weight, motion, and resistance — Thomas De Quincey>
b :  of or relating to material things
a :  of or relating to the body <physical abuse>
b (1) :  concerned or preoccupied with the body and its needs :  carnal <physical appetites>
(2) :  sexual <a physical love affair> <physical attraction>
c :  characterized by especially rugged and forceful physical activity :  rough <a physical hockey game> <a physical player>
phys·i·cal·ly \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
phys·i·cal·ness \-kəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of PHYSICAL

  1. The program is designed to address both physical and emotional health.
  2. No physical contact with other players is allowed in the game.
  3. He has an unusual physical appearance.
  4. There was no physical evidence of the crime.
  5. Their relationship was purely physical.

Origin of PHYSICAL

Middle English phisicale medical, from Medieval Latin physicalis, from Latin physica
First Known Use: 1580

Synonym Discussion of PHYSICAL

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping <material values>. physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary <the physical benefits of exercise>. corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force <artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings>. phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction <scientists concerned with the phenomenal world>. sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses <the earth's rotation is not sensible to us>. objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it <no objective evidence of damage>.

Rhymes with PHYSICAL



: a medical examination to see if a person's body is healthy

Full Definition of PHYSICAL

First Known Use of PHYSICAL

PHYSICALS Defined for Kids


adjective phys·i·cal \ˈfi-zi-kəl\

Definition of PHYSICAL for Kids

:  of the body :  bodily <A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection … — Walter Farley, The Black Stallion>
:  existing in a form that can be touched or seen <physical objects>
:  of or relating to physics
phys·i·cal·ly adverb


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