practical

adjective
prac·​ti·​cal | \ˈprak-ti-kəl \

Definition of practical 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or manifested in practice or action : not theoretical or ideal a practical question for all practical purposes

b : being such in practice or effect : virtual a practical failure

2 : actively engaged in some course of action or occupation a practical farmer

3 : capable of being put to use or account : useful he had a practical knowledge of French

4a : disposed to action as opposed to speculation or abstraction

b(1) : qualified by practice or practical training a good practical mechanic

(2) : designed to supplement theoretical training by experience

5 : concerned with voluntary action and ethical decisions practical reason

practical

noun

Definition of practical (Entry 2 of 2)

: an examination requiring demonstration of some practical skill a zoology practical

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Other Words from practical

Adjective

practicality \ ˌprak-​ti-​ˈka-​lə-​tē \ noun
practicalness \ ˈprak-​ti-​kəl-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for practical

Synonyms: Adjective

down-to-earth, earthy, hardheaded, matter-of-fact, pragmatic (also pragmatical), realistic

Antonyms: Adjective

blue-sky, idealistic, impractical, unrealistic, utopian, visionary

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Examples of practical in a Sentence

Adjective

We can speculate about the future, but on a more practical level, we have to admit that we simply don't know what will happen. An engineer will address the design's practical problems. She has a lot of practical experience in dealing with these kinds of problems. practical solutions to complicated problems He thinks wind can be a practical source of renewable energy. The machine is too big to be practical for most private homes. The shoes are nice, but they're not very practical. The book is a practical guide to car care. He gave me some practical advice on finding a job.

Noun

We have our zoology practicals next week.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In this context, the FBI investigation is more a political exercise than a practical one. German Lopez, Vox, "The FBI’s limited investigation into the Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations, explained," 3 Oct. 2018 What this means, though, is that Microsoft has finally found an immediate, easily understandable, practical use for the HoloLens—which, honestly, has languished somewhat out of the public eye. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018 Fall detection isn't just a great concept and a practical use for the tech inside the Apple Watch (most of which has been sequestered to the fitness side of things until now). Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple Watch Series 4 hands-on: Sparking envy in current Apple Watch owners," 12 Sep. 2018 In this view, Facebook is a naive weakling afraid to take any enforcement action on its platform; Apple, on the other hand, is the practical one who never pretended to embrace free speech in the first place. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Apple crushed Alex Jones — then tossed him a lifeline," 8 Aug. 2018 Those who approve of the president's handing of the separation matter tend to view the upcoming midterms as being about practical matters, that is, who will do the better job solving problems. CBS News, "CBS News Battleground Tracker: Sharp divides over immigration, separation," 24 June 2018 As a practical matter, the two decisions mean that Wisconsin's legislative map, which challengers said overwhelmingly favored Republicans, will remain intact for the fall elections. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court sidesteps decision on partisan gerrymandering in rulings on Wisconsin, Maryland cases," 18 June 2018 Maybe the most practical use for the blocks is another one that The Boring Company has floated: using them to reinforce the very tunnels its digging. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Elon Musk's Dirt Bricks Actually Good For?," 23 May 2018 As a practical matter, that means the projects would not have to compete with other state construction priorities for limited funding. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Louisiana governor vetoes bill related to Wildlife and Fisheries projects," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'practical.' 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 practical

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for practical

Adjective

Middle English, from Late Latin practicus, from Greek praktikos, from prassein to pass over, fare, do; akin to Greek peran to pass through — more at fare

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Statistics for practical

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for practical

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

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More Definitions for practical

practical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of practical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to what is real rather than to what is possible or imagined

: likely to succeed and reasonable to do or use

: appropriate or suited for actual use

practical

noun

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

: an examination in which students have to do or make something to show what they have learned

practical

adjective
prac·​ti·​cal | \ˈprak-ti-kəl \

Kids Definition of practical

1 : of or relating to real action rather than ideas or thought practical matters

2 : capable of being put to use : reasonable to do or use practical advice Those shoes are nice, but these are more practical.

3 : tending to act according to reason and logic Beezus, always practical, changed her mind. “It wouldn't work.”— Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby a practical person

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Comments on practical

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