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 philosophical (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 philosophical (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 But, this transition doesn't come without its challenges, both philosophical and technological. David Flower, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Second, longer-term and more strategic, is China’s growing philosophical, politico-military and economic assault against the U.S. and the Indo-Pacific generally. John Bolton, WSJ, 23 May 2021 These tours take visitors beyond the superficial to explore the park's deeper history, as well as wildlife species, plants used in medicine and nutrition, and the Blackfeet peoples' philosophical and spiritual perspectives. Ali Wunderman, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 While Schindler takes a philosophical view of physical change, other participants highlight the metamorphic quality of their artistic methods. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 All this solid moral and philosophical formation will tend to survive even the erosion or evolution of personal faith. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 5 Mar. 2021 What follows are naturally philosophical, ethical and scientific questions. John Benson, cleveland, 12 May 2021 Some are emotional, philosophical or spiritual — others are distinctly pragmatic. Courtney Smith, Forbes, 7 May 2021 As a result, Americans’ habit of joining local organizations did more, in Tocqueville’s eyes at least, to limit the reach of the federal government than any abstract philosophical or political principle. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 1 May 2021

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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Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Philosophical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for philosophical



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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