phil·o·soph·i·cal | \ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fi-kəl also -ˈzä- \
variants: or less commonly philosophic \ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fik also -ˈzä- \

Definition of philosophical 

1a : of or relating to philosophers or philosophy

b : based on philosophy

2 : characterized by the attitude of a philosopher specifically : calm or unflinching in the face of trouble, defeat, or loss

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Other Words from philosophical

philosophically \ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fi-k(ə-)lē also -ˈzä- \ adverb

Examples of philosophical in a Sentence

They got into a philosophical debate about what it means for something to be “natural.” He's trying to be philosophical about their decision since he knows he can't change it.

Recent Examples on the Web

In doing so, the new alliance is likely to tangle with the mighty and well-moneyed Grocery Manufacturers Association, which Mars, Nestle, Unilever and seven other major firms abandoned amid high-profile philosophical disagreements in 2017. Caitlin Dewey,, "Four of the world's largest food companies have a new plan for fixing food and farm policy," 12 July 2018 Which is a logistical problem that echoes a philosophical one in both the show and our own world: Isn’t the term virtual reality inevitably an oxymoron? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld’s Virtual Afterlife Might Not Be Fiction," 27 June 2018 The web of lies and miscommunication make for borderline slapstick comedy, but the frequent ruminations on spirituality mark this one of Hong’s most philosophical films. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "The Best Movies of 2018 (So Far)," 19 June 2018 Regardless of philosophical beliefs, there is a lot of money in marijuana and, interest in the industry is high. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "It's not a normal election year in Michigan — again," 16 June 2018 In fact, the state had lenient vaccine laws that allowed for philosophical exemptions prior to a 2014-15 measles outbreak in Anaheim, a city located in Orange County. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Opting out of vaccines leaves these US 'hot spots' most vulnerable for outbreaks," 13 June 2018 Adding a graduate transfer would be a philosophical about-face for Calipari, who has criticized in the past the rule allowing transfers who earned a degree automatic eligibility. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "John Calipari hints Kentucky basketball could soon add more players," 4 June 2018 Correspondent Serna Altschul tours an exhibition of his collages at New York's Pace Gallery which reflect a time of deep philosophical exploration towards the end of the artist's life. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (June 3)," 1 June 2018 There are practical questions -- how to find useful work for millions of workers -- and philosophical ones about the government’s role in the economy. Katia Dmitrieva,, "Leading Democrats Are Backing One of the Most Radical Economic Plans in Years," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'philosophical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of philosophical

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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The first known use of philosophical was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of philosophical

: of, relating to, or based on philosophy

: having a calm attitude toward a difficult or unpleasant situation


phil·o·soph·i·cal | \ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fi-kəl \
variants: also philosophic \-ˈsä-fik \

Kids Definition of philosophical

1 : of or relating to the study of basic ideas about knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, and the value of things

2 : showing wisdom and calm when faced with misfortune

Other Words from philosophical

philosophically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on philosophical

Nglish: Translation of philosophical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of philosophical for Arabic Speakers

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