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

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

They are divided between those who want something practical and those who crave something gorgeous. Elana Frankel, WSJ, "Should Rugs Stay Out of the Kitchen? Designers Duke it Out," 8 Jan. 2019 Some of his models wore protective nylon rain veils; others donned synthetic ensembles in jelly-bean colors whose practical aspects were overshadowed by their decorative, feminine qualities. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Inspired by Craig Green’s Fall 2019 Lineup, a Look at Fantastic Plastics in Fashion," 7 Jan. 2019 If your routine doesn’t involve any form of exercise, suddenly getting yourself to the gym five days a week—while certainly possible—may not be the most practical or realistic goal. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals You’ll Actually Achieve, According to Top Trainers," 3 Jan. 2019 On top of all this practical stuff, there were the cars (and even SUVs) aimed at the enthusiasts. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Cars Technica cars and SUVs of the year," 30 Dec. 2018 Having a pet dinosaur isn’t the most practical superpower, especially with the show’s special-effects budget limiting that dino’s range. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 2018 Before the fantastic future comes a very practical present Pressure to create economic growth has led cities to embrace tech with open arms—for better or for worse. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Her agency told her the designer was looking for a real-life mom to model a practical, wearable breast pump that women's tech brand Elvie wanted to launch at the show. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Model and Mom Valeria Garcia Opens Up About Wearing a Breast Pump on the Runway," 11 Oct. 2018 More Badass Planes Most aircraft do not need flight engineers to control engine power levels but managing the heavy engine levers is not practical at the same time as wrestling with the controls, which lack the power assistance of more recent rigs. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Super Guppy Is Such a Badass Plane," 17 Dec. 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

12 Jan 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)

: 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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