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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

John Stiteler, the owner of Total Health Guidance in Orlando, says positive mental health takes practical and behavioral approaches. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Holistic mental-health treatments can help, advocates say," 26 Apr. 2018 Japan's homegrown fighter was just not practical or affordable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Japan’s F-22/F-35 Fighter Hybrid Might Look Like," 23 Apr. 2018 The learning and observation from the visits are complemented by a week-long group project to develop a 3D printing and awareness campaign that applies what students have learned into a practical context. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Youths explore medicine at Global Teen Medical Summit," 13 July 2018 Franklin’s focus reflected both the popular USIA choices of classic American literature, such as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, as well as practical texts and nonfiction considered useful for developing nations. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 But surely most fans of the show would be fascinated by a little more context about the structure and practical realities of Gilead. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "We survived another grueling season of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' but here are 3 things we need from Season 3," 12 July 2018 While Golden State’s immense global popularity is surely a factor as well, there are other recent practical factors at play. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Two Years After Durant’s Decision, Adam Silver Changes Tune on Superteam Warriors," 11 July 2018 The big practical question, of course, is how to avoid or counteract the effects of mental fatigue. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue," 10 July 2018 The class includes guided meditations, practical advice and discussion. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 10 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about practical

Statistics for practical

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for practical

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on practical

What made you want to look up practical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to express warning or disapproval

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!