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

Laws giving wives rights to their own earnings and property had slowly crept across most states, but women were still fighting for equal access to educational opportunities and professional spheres; campaigning for more practical clothing. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 This is partly because using a lab is more practical than taking study participants outdoors, but also so participants will not know if they are grounded or not - to avoid a placebo effect. Carrie Dennett, chicagotribune.com, "Could walking barefoot on grass improve your health? Some science suggests it can.," 11 July 2018 The company has promised a mixed reality experience more practical and advanced than existing headsets, including Microsoft’s HoloLens. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "AT&T will support Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses, once they actually exist," 11 July 2018 My suspicion is that the more practical insights will come from thinking of ways to avoid mental fatigue in the first place, like the mental taper concept. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue," 10 July 2018 Although many African governments recognize the threat to lives from air pollutants, efforts to stem pollution have often lagged behind the more practical concerns of growing economies and attracting investors to develop local industry. Washington Post, "Africa’s pollution killing thousands of infants, study says," 27 June 2018 In a more practical sense, the nesting carnivore’s foraging for food in the meadows and fields is a comforting sign that all is ecologically well here. L. Kim Tan, BostonGlobe.com, "In Latvia, we got carried away with storks," 26 June 2018 But everyday life has a way of taking over and Doris went on to motherhood and a more practical career in nursing, shelving her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Gift of love resurrects San Antonio woman’s dream 70 years later," 22 June 2018 Others recounted more practical lessons their dads taught them, like driving pointers or tips for managing money. refinery29.com, "22 Women On The Best Advice They Got From Their Dads," 13 June 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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Learn More about practical

Phrases Related to practical

for (all) practical purposes

Statistics for practical

Last Updated

21 Sep 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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