1

physical

adjective phys·i·cal \ ˈfi-zi-kəl \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of physical

1 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
2 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
3 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

physically

play \ˈfi-zi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

physicalness

play \ˈfi-zi-kəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of physical in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of physical from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of physical

Middle English phisicale medical, from Medieval Latin physicalis, from Latin physica

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

2

physical

noun

Definition of physical

Recent Examples of physical from the Web

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

First Known Use of physical

1934



PHYSICAL Defined for English Language Learners

physical

adjective

Definition of physical for English Language Learners

  • : 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


physical

noun

Definition of physical for English Language Learners

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


PHYSICAL Defined for Kids

physical

adjective phys·i·cal \ ˈfi-zi-kəl \

Definition of physical for Students

1 : of the body : bodily
  • A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection …
  • —Walter Farley, The Black Stallion
2 : existing in a form that can be touched or seen
  • physical objects
3 : of or relating to physics

physically

adverb

Medical Dictionary

1

physical

adjective phys·i·cal \ ˈfiz-i-kəl \

medical Definition of physical

1 : having material existence : perceptible especially through the senses and subject to the laws of nature
2 a : of or relating to physics
b : characterized or produced by the forces and operations of physics
3 : of or relating to the body

physically

play \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

physical

noun

medical Definition of physical



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