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

Ever practical, Kate opted to wear a green jacket, a mockneck sweater from J.Crew, and black jeans for her day in the park. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wears a Casual-Chic Look to Visit with U.K. Scouts," 28 Mar. 2019 These might not be the most practical shoe in comparison, but boy, the barely there sandals look so divine. Vogue, "The Ultimate Spring Sandal Guide Is Here," 23 Mar. 2019 Then there was the practical: The absurd, courtesy of Nick Offerman: The biblio-centric: 1.bookshelf. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "The Best Responses to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Asking What She Should Buy for Her Apartment," 14 Mar. 2019 But there are practical considerations, too, when buying kids' shoes. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Rothy’s Launched New Kids’ Sneakers and Adults Everywhere Are Jealous," 12 Mar. 2019 Let the text flow The obvious, practical reasons for using a text editor are straightforward, but important. Rachel Z. Arndt, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Ditch Microsoft Word for NotePad," 8 Mar. 2019 Sara Zeff Geber provides practical strategies for how to plan for all contingencies without that help. Diane Cole, WSJ, "The Best Books of 2018 on Aging Well," 20 Nov. 2018 Fitness Trainer John Hoadley and Physical Therapist Lauri McCrorey will join her in demonstrating and teaching practical strategies for preventing and dealing with falls. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 10 July 2018 Participation, and the discipline to do so, is a more practical strategy than trying to perfectly time the market. Wes Moss, ajc, "Wes Moss: What you need to remember when navigating choppy markets," 22 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

6 Apr 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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