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

As such, the league is facing a profound philosophical crossroads. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Pac-12, Conference of Champions? Right now, ‘Conference of Credibility Issues’ is a better nickname," 23 Oct. 2018 Krauthammer delivered his views in a mild-mannered, steady and sometimes philosophical style, consistent with his background in psychiatry and his detailed analysis of human behavior. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Charles Krauthammer’s final book, finished by his son, Daniel, is due in December," 19 Sep. 2018 What’s left is a vaguely philosophical mood, the drama class seriousness of someone who read Chekhov for the first time. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018 Similarly, there’s no philosophical consistency in a system that limits San Antonio council members to $500 contributions while county commissioners face no limits. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Wolff calls on legislators to reform campaign finance laws," 13 June 2018 The conversations can be searching, get philosophical, then quickly veer back to brass tacks. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "Barack Obama Is Quietly Getting into the 2020 Race," 11 June 2018 But the government’s entire case may rest on a much more fundamental and less philosophical question: What happened to the lead agent? Jake Fischer And Jon Wertheim,, "Could a Rogue FBI Agent Derail the NCAA Corruption Probe?," 23 May 2018 Larionov was the professor, thoughtful, loquacious, rarely rattled, often philosophical. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Red Wings' Russian Five still stunning to this day," 11 Apr. 2018 Chanse doesn't suggest answers so much as reiillustrate the question through additional unnecessary metaphors, resulting in more philosophical musings than drama. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Too many metaphors spoil the drama in Opportunities of Extinction," 15 June 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

11 Dec 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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