radical

adjective
rad·​i·​cal | \ ˈra-di-kəl How to pronounce radical (audio) \

Definition of radical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: such as
a(1) : of or growing from the root of a plant radical tubers
(2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground radical leaves
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue radical surgery radical mastectomy
2 : of or relating to the origin : fundamental
3a : very different from the usual or traditional : extreme
b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
c : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change
d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs the radical right
4 slang : excellent, cool

radical

noun

Definition of radical (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a root part
b : a basic principle : foundation
b : a sound or letter belonging to a radical
3 : one who is radical
4 : free radical also : a group of atoms bonded together that is considered an entity in various kinds of reactions or as a subunit of a larger molecule
5a : a mathematical expression indicating a root by means of a radical sign

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Other Words from radical

Adjective

radicalness noun

Examples of radical in a Sentence

Adjective The computer has introduced radical innovations. There are some radical differences between the two proposals. The new president has made some radical changes to the company. a radical wing of extremists Noun He was a radical when he was young, but now he's much more moderate. radicals staged large, violent protests in the hopes of toppling the government
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Populism on the left and right could put its survival in jeopardy by pushing for radical changes in public policy, predicated on a distorted understanding of economic outcomes. Michael R. Strain, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 Following the murder of George Floyd last year by a police officer in Minneapolis and subsequent protests against racial injustice, Superintendent Scott Brabrand enacted radical changes to TJ’s admissions meant to boost the school’s diversity. Washington Post, 7 June 2021 Duke and Krzyzewski have been synonymous with college basketball greatness ever since, coming out on top despite radical changes in the sport's landscape. NBC News, 2 June 2021 Their unconscionable actions will, over time, lead to radical changes in how American children are educated. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Neither is the new government expected to make any radical changes to Israel's regional policy. Ahshel Pfeffer, CNN, 31 May 2021 Three of the largest oil and gas companies were forced to make radical changes to curb their carbon emissions as the climate emergency pushed shareholders and a Dutch court to turn their backs on Big Oil. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 27 May 2021 Anything that has a chance of garnering the requisite 60 or so votes can’t include any of the most radical changes proposed by Democrats in their legislation. Isaac Schorr, National Review, 27 Apr. 2021 Senators who attempt to engineer radical changes in American governance are not likely to enjoy good reputations among voters. James Freeman, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its resurfacing comes as some Republicans have sought to undermine Stone-Manning's nomination, characterizing her as a partisan Democrat and environmental radical. Matthew Brown, Star Tribune, 11 June 2021 Its resurfacing comes as some Republicans have sought to undermine Stone-Manning's nomination, characterizing her as a partisan Democrat and environmental radical. Matthew Brown, ajc, 11 June 2021 Nor has the president proved to be the leftist radical that some of his opponents feared. Washington Post, 6 June 2021 Roddenberry has been described as a radical of his era, whose utopian vision of space travel was predicated on an absence of bigotry, in which race and gender weren't matters of contention. NBC News, 1 June 2021 My roommate thought Dylan was a radical who wanted to shake things up, as if that were a bad thing. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, 26 May 2021 The ex-Berkeley radical was about to experience another epiphany—this time within the erstwhile tolerant, big-tent conservative movement. Ronald Radosh, The New Republic, 5 May 2021 Luckily, the Conductor has a woman on the inside: a Grisha named Nina (Danielle Galligan), who is a heartrender and a radical who doesn't believe that all Grisha should be made to serve the Ravkan king. Olivia Truffaut-wong, refinery29.com, 27 Apr. 2021 In tracing Nahr’s journey, Abulhawa challenges that assumption, upending our image of the Palestinian radical. Rozina Ali, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'radical.' 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 radical

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for radical

Adjective

Middle English, from Late Latin radicalis, from Latin radic-, radix root — more at root

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Time Traveler for radical

Time Traveler

The first known use of radical was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near radical

radiatory

radical

radical axis

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Statistics for radical

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Radical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radical. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for radical

radical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of radical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary
: very basic and important
: having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people

radical

noun

English Language Learners Definition of radical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who favors extreme changes in government : a person who has radical political opinions

radical

adjective
rad·​i·​cal | \ ˈra-di-kəl How to pronounce radical (audio) \

Kids Definition of radical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very new and different from the usual or ordinary : extreme a radical change
2 : of or relating to people who favor rapid and sweeping changes in laws and government

Other Words from radical

radically adverb

radical

noun

Kids Definition of radical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who favors rapid and sweeping changes especially in laws and government

radical

adjective
rad·​i·​cal | \ ˈrad-i-kəl How to pronounce radical (audio) \

Medical Definition of radical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue radical surgery
2 : involving complete removal of an organ radical prostatectomy — compare conservative

Other Words from radical

radically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce radical (audio) \ adverb

radical

noun

Medical Definition of radical (Entry 2 of 2)

: free radical also : a group of atoms bonded together that is considered an entity in various kinds of reactions

More from Merriam-Webster on radical

Nglish: Translation of radical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of radical for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about radical

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