physical

adjective
phys·​i·​cal | \ ˈfi-zi-kəl How to pronounce physical (audio) \

Definition of physical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to natural science
b(1) : of or relating to physics
(2) : characterized or produced by the forces and operations of physics
2a : 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
3a : 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

physical

noun

Definition of physical (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from physical

Adjective

physicalness \ ˈfi-​zi-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce physicalness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for physical

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for physical

Adjective

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

Examples of physical in a Sentence

Adjective The program is designed to address both physical and emotional health. No physical contact with other players is allowed in the game. He has an unusual physical appearance. There was no physical evidence of the crime. Their relationship was purely physical.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There’s not a coincidence, both from a physical and mental standpoint. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame Case Is a Bit Rocky," 17 Jan. 2020 The emotional and physical toll IVF takes is only made worse by a culture of silence. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Amy Schumer Revealed She’s Going Through IVF Treatments," 10 Jan. 2020 Three year old's are creatures of habit, and the smells and safety of his crib lead to rest, both physical and emotional. The Washington Post, "On Parenting: Meghan Leahy took your questions about parenting," 8 Jan. 2020 Without specifying any dollar figures, the lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for physical and emotional injuries, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Time, "A Potentially Ground-Breaking Sex Abuse Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against the Boy Scouts," 7 Jan. 2020 Also: Judge gave middle finger to men before White Castle shooting, documents say Adams and Jacobs didn't discourage this or leave the situation, court documents say, and the verbal altercation turned physical. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Two Indiana judges suspended after White Castle fight in Indianapolis reinstated," 24 Dec. 2019 Their flirty friendship went on for nearly a year before things finally turned physical, and Ellen was convinced that Ben would soon be her boyfriend. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Over Someone You Never Actually Dated," 24 Dec. 2019 Rather than just being used for spying, this was the decade the digital world was weaponized to break through to the physical. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Cyberwar Decade: How an Invisible Battlefield Came of Age in the 2010s," 23 Dec. 2019 Research shows that parents with medically complex children want their child’s whole person treated, not just the physical or mental aspects. Katherine Rafferty, The Conversation, "Parents of medically fragile children and their kids could use help, understanding year-round," 17 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Opinions differed, however, whether the new director should be required to pass a NFPA physical. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll County getting closer to first director of fire and EMS, with job listing coming soon," 12 Sep. 2019 The person spoke on condition of anonymity because McCoy must still pass a physical, which could be completed as early as Sunday. BostonGlobe.com, "Chargers suspend contract extension talks with RB Melvin Gordon," 1 Sep. 2019 Garth opened up about having issues with Doherty during their days filming the original Beverly Hills, 90210, admitting one argument almost turned physical on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Monday. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "90210's Jennie Garth Recalls 'Stupid' On-Set Fight with Shannen Doherty That Almost Got Physical," 6 Aug. 2019 The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal is pending physicals. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "San Diego Padres to acquire Tommy Pham from Tampa Bay Rays for Hunter Renfroe, prospect," 6 Dec. 2019 First, annual physicals typically aren’t performed in installments unless someone needs a special test not available at their doctor’s office — something that shouldn’t be an issue at a military hospital. Washington Post, "Trump’s weekend hospital visit draws a skeptical reaction," 19 Nov. 2019 Annual presidential physicals are not typically conducted in two parts. Lauren Egan, NBC News, "Trump claims surprise hospital visit was 'routine'," 19 Nov. 2019 Trump’s 2018 and 2019 physicals were announced in advance and appeared on his public schedule. BostonGlobe.com, "The February checkup showed he had put on some pounds and was now officially considered obese. His body mass index was 30.4. His weight was 243 pounds and he was 6 feet 3 inches tall.," 17 Nov. 2019 Erlewine looks forward to Trigger’s semiannual physicals. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Willie Nelson’s 50-year Love Affair with Trigger, His Faithful Guitar," 23 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of physical

Adjective

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for physical

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for physical

Time Traveler

The first known use of physical was in 1580

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Statistics for physical

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Physical.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physicalness?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=physic04. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for physical

physical

adjective
How to pronounce physical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of physical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of physical (Entry 2 of 2)

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

physical

adjective
phys·​i·​cal | \ ˈfi-zi-kəl How to pronounce physical (audio) \

Kids Definition of physical

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

Other Words from physical

physically adverb

physical

adjective
phys·​i·​cal | \ ˈfiz-i-kəl How to pronounce physical (audio) \

Medical Definition of physical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from physical

physically \ -​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce physically (audio) \ adverb

physical

noun

Medical Definition of physical (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on physical

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