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

Even if Sanders or another candidate supporting his plan of completely scrapping the current iteration of Medicare wins, Congress is unlikely to go along with such a radical change. Flaviu Simihaian, Fortune, "Private Insurers Are Afraid of Medicare for All. They Should Be Excited," 5 June 2019 There’s a sense of history and continuity here, while at the same time not being afraid of the new or the radical. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Max Mara’s Ian Griffiths Talks Berlin, Bowie, Politics and Coming of Age in Punk-Era Manchester," 31 May 2019 The first 1-series was pretty radical, a compact hatchback using rear-wheel drive when every competitor was front-wheel drive, and the second generation kept the same platform. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The New BMW 1-Series Is a FWD-Based Hot Hatchback with 302 HP," 28 May 2019 With an emphasis on inclusivity, identity politics, and radical self-expression, de Kluyver presents six different editorial shoots, giving thoughtful context for each set of characters. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Gucci’s New Global Makeup Artist Just Released a Mesmerizing Beauty Book," 23 May 2019 The Golf's interior will be getting a radical redesign with a dual-screen setup and a much more angular look. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 Is Getting a Radical Interior Redesign," 15 May 2019 This idea seems radical — even to lawyers advocating antitrust enforcement against Google — since the modern media and technology business is built on an idea of synergy that took hold in the 1990s. Robert Levine, BostonGlobe.com, "Google is hugely powerful. Is antitrust law up to the job?," 13 June 2018 She and her co-conspirators from the radical organization the People’s Will were soon arrested, and Perovskaya and four male accomplices were condemned to death by hanging. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: The Russian Icon Who Was Hanged for Killing a Czar," 30 May 2018 Nvidia’s radical new Turing architecture helps the GeForce GTX 1650 deliver plenty of game, though this particular GPU lacks the real-time ray tracing and machine learning capabilities of the far pricier RTX 20-series hardware. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 is a $150 graphics card built to plug-and-play in any PC," 23 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The eight men and one woman who detonated bombs on Easter Sunday, killing themselves and more than 250 others, were a collection of Islamist radicals including a quiet truck driver and a foreign-educated engineer. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Sri Lanka Identifies All Nine Easter Bombers," 1 May 2019 Now, memories of the events serve as a warning about the dangers of the police state, and reminder of the price that black radicals have paid in their fight for liberation. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "The History of the Black Radical Group MOVE and Its Infamous Bombing by Police," 17 May 2019 One summer night in 1935, a dozen American radicals boarded a German luxury liner in New York Harbor, tore loose the swastika flag from her bow and threw it into the Hudson River. Richard Snow, WSJ, "‘The Agitator’ Review: You Can’t Fly That Flag Here!," 22 Mar. 2019 The audience is introduced to his character through the memories of an older Joan, played by Judi Dench, as she's being questioned about her experiences with political radicals at Cambridge, and her alleged work as a KGB spy during WWII. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Watch Victoria's Tom Hughes in an Exclusive New Clip of the WWII Spy Drama Red Joan," 19 Apr. 2019 Coming after a series of terrorist attacks in France by Islamist radicals, the crash spurred worries that one of them had exploited a security flaw at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and slipped a bomb on the plane. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "French Investigators, Countering Egypt, Say Fire Likely Caused EgyptAir Crash," 7 July 2018 Turns out there are rewards for not yielding to campus radicals. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "It Pays to Be A Wyoming Cowboy," 8 Mar. 2019 The wildly popular character of Tabby — an anarcho-communist trans cat-girl who sports an ANTIFA patch and wields a baseball bat to smash capitalism — began life as a caricature of radicals that Wynn felt weren’t strategically minded enough. Katherine Cross, The Verge, "The Oscar Wilde of YouTube fights the alt-right with decadence and seduction," 24 Aug. 2018 Like Mr Cocker, who cites 19th-century radicals such as William Hazlitt and William Cobbett, its exponents tend to be left-leaning. The Economist, "Brexit is reverberating in British literature," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for radical

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for radical

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

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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 radically (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

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Comments on radical

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