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

You might be inspired to put some of your ideas into practical use during November, but this may mean taking notes and waiting until January to develop a viable framework. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 17, 2019: Capricorn, be a positive force; Virgo, don’t procrastinate," 17 Sep. 2019 To their benefit, culottes are modest and practical. Vogue, "The Ups and Downs of Culottes," 16 Sep. 2019 The practical and versatile must-have will make a seamless transition from desk duties to airport layovers. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Work Bag That’s Perfect for Every Type of Job," 13 Sep. 2019 From my experiences meeting refugees all around the world, whenever people are displaced, their first instinct is to seek a practical local solution inside their own country. Angelina Jolie, Time, "Angelina Jolie: Climate Change Is Already Displacing Millions of People. It's Our Responsibility to Help Them," 12 Sep. 2019 The authors propose, however, a practical application of this relation. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "New Clues Found in Understanding Near-Death Experiences," 10 Sep. 2019 But that’s not a practical solution if these kinds of events become common, city and county officials said. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area warned to prepare for smoky air during wildfire season," 9 Sep. 2019 Geoengineering has long been seen as something out of science fiction, or a dangerous distraction from more practical solutions to climate change. James Griffiths, CNN, "Rich countries aren't stopping climate change. Can poor nations save themselves?," 9 Sep. 2019 That effectively challenges Britain to produce a detailed, practical solution to a fiendishly complex problem within a few weeks. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Boris Johnson Needs Help From Trump, but Not Too Much," 21 Aug. 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

21 Sep 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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