phil·​o·​soph·​i·​cal | \ ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fi-kəl How to pronounce philosophical (audio) also -ˈzä- \
variants: or less commonly philosophic \ ˌfi-​lə-​ˈsä-​fik How to pronounce philosophic (audio) 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 How to pronounce philosophically (audio) 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 art, context provides the philosophical framing elements for determining the meaning of an artwork. Nickole Kerner Bobley, Houston Chronicle, "Artfeel: Woodlands photographer finds new meaning in past work," 19 June 2020 Kurtis Vu, a 19-year-old student and sales associate in Huntington Beach, Calif., sounds almost philosophical explaining his call to buy cruise and airline stocks. Justina Lee,, "Why Robinhood Day Traders Are Greedy When Wall Street Is Fearful," 15 June 2020 Both Quinn and Patricia have repeatedly declined to provide details about Ayers' time in Detroit, which a source said after his release was due to philosophical differences with the head coach. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Robert Ayers explains Detroit Lions layover: 'Me and the head coach didn't agree'," 12 June 2020 To Barr, the philosophical-civic consensus arrayed against the city of God is something akin to the barbarian hordes besieging Rome in Augustine’s time. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr’s Invisible Crusade," 8 June 2020 That’s a meaningful philosophical and financial decision, as automakers like General Motors and Volkswagen abandon hybrids to concentrate on purely electric vehicles. cleveland, "2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features," 6 June 2020 The fear of literal nonexistence through death is addressed by many philosophical and religious traditions. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Don’t Fear the (Career) Reaper," 4 June 2020 Two people at Facebook familiar with Zuckerberg's thinking who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said he is motivated by practical and philosophical goals. NBC News, "Facebook employees go public with disagreement over Zuckerberg's handling of Trump," 29 May 2020 Former WebEx employees who made the transition to Cisco describe a key philosophical difference in how the two companies handled their customers. Jon Sarlin, CNN, "Everyone you know uses Zoom. That wasn't the plan," 21 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for philosophical

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

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Statistics for philosophical

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Philosophical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for philosophical


How to pronounce philosophical (audio)

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 How to pronounce philosophical (audio) \
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

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