practical

adjective
prac·​ti·​cal | \ ˈprak-ti-kəl How to pronounce practical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce practicality (audio) \ noun
practicalness \ ˈprak-​ti-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce practicalness (audio) \ noun

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

Despite the legal and practical hurdles in a timeline, Nadler's comments indicated that House Democrats have become increasingly open to speaking about an impeachment inquiry as more of their caucus has come around to backing one. Luke Johnson, Fortune, "House Judiciary Committee Chair Sketches Out Trump Impeachment Timeline as Caucus Support Grows," 5 Aug. 2019 The more Billy thought about it, though, the less practical this seemed. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "Immigrant Song," 30 July 2019 The magical is meeting with the practical here: the idyllic beauty of a Provencal wedding reconciled with the aching realities of spending an afternoon walking gardens and gravel paths in a pair of heels. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Meryl Davis and Fedor Andreev's Wedding Was a Provencal Dream," 29 July 2019 Kim Possible & Ron Stoppable The only thing not practical about Kim and Ron's crime-fighting attire is the grappling hook gun. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "13 Disney-Inspired DIY Halloween Costumes for Adults," 24 July 2019 Students have instead been stampeding into overtly practical subjects such as medicine, veterinary sciences and business studies. The Economist, "The study of history is in decline in Britain," 18 July 2019 Facebook says that will allow the network to run faster than other cryptocurrencies, making Libra practical for everyday uses like purchasing something online. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Everything you need to know about Libra, Facebook's cryptocurrency," 16 July 2019 An order in January encouraged companies to use American iron, steel, aluminum, cement and other products to the extent practical, but did not set any binding target. New York Times, "Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War," 15 July 2019 The bundle is neatly packaged in a very practical mesh laundry bag, and each item is crafted from a breathable Pima cotton-blend fabric that promises to help increase blood flow and oxygen levels, ultimately improving circulation. Andrea Cheng, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Comfortable Brands to Wear on a Long-Haul Flight," 2 July 2019

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

10 Aug 2019

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)

chiefly British : 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 How to pronounce practical (audio) \

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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