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

But for China, the Belt and Road Initiative also has a more practical purpose. Michael Singh, WSJ, "Beijing’s Curious Silence on the Syria Withdrawal," 8 Jan. 2019 Spotted out with her friend, and fellow style star, Jaden Smith in Los Angeles on December 16, Kendall wore an ultra-casual brunch look that was both practical and cozy. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner’s Braless Brunch Look Is the Perfect Solution for Wearing a Crop Top All Winter," 17 Dec. 2018 For practical purposes, the game was decided when the Bulldogs used a 30-6 run to go up 35-10 with 7:41 remaining in the first half. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "UW Huskies need their “A” game to snap 7-game losing streak at No. 1 Gonzaga," 5 Dec. 2018 Nixing the watchband hinge for this sound bar hinge served a practical purpose while also maintaining the device's premium look. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Lenovo Yoga C930 2-in-1 review: Hidden features in all the right places," 26 Oct. 2018 Such books matched the needs of students, professionals, and other aspirational readers who used these texts for practical purposes. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 But here's the bottom line: For all practical purposes, the U.S. economy is at full employment. Steve Jagler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jagler: Employers need to be proactive to recruit and retain top talent in full labor market," 8 June 2018 There is no practical purpose in placing the selector switch between settings. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s M4 Carbine Can Fire Even If You Don't Pull the Trigger," 1 June 2018 Ensuring that drones can communicate with intelligent infrastructure for practical purposes, such as finding open parking spots, identifying when a park needs maintenance or spotting a road that needs to be repaved. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's winning drone bid: A look at the city's ambitious plans," 10 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

9 Feb 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 \

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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