sur·​gi·​cal | \ ˈsər-ji-kəl How to pronounce surgical (audio) \

Definition of surgical

1a : of or relating to surgeons or surgery surgical skills
b : used in or in connection with surgery surgical gauze
c : following or resulting from surgery surgical fevers
2 : characteristic of or resembling surgery or a surgeon especially in control or incisiveness surgical precision

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Other Words from surgical

surgically \ ˈsər-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce surgically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of surgical in a Sentence

The work was done with surgical precision.
Recent Examples on the Web The group included linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who arrived at NRG Stadium wearing a surgical mask and was one of five defensive starters who played after being listed as ill. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Tom Brady: Patriots' illnesses not to blame for loss to Texans," 2 Dec. 2019 The suspect entered the home on West 64th Street in the Saks community wearing a surgical mask to disguise himself. Carol Robinson |, al, "Masked home intruder forced couple to perform sex acts, police say," 25 Nov. 2019 Initially, many took to the streets with bandannas or surgical masks covering their faces, apparently fearful of being identified. Ernesto Londoño, New York Times, "Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down," 10 Nov. 2019 Enforcement is tricky in a city where many have worn surgical masks since a deadly respiratory disease outbreak in 2003. NBC News, "Protesters charged in first use of Hong Kong's new mask ban," 7 Oct. 2019 Police found surveillance video that showed a suspect wearing a light gray hoodie, dark gray sweatpants, a surgical mask and blue latex gloves. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Police respond to armed robbery: Lakewood Police Blotter," 6 Oct. 2019 During the past four months of unrest, many participants in peaceful protests have worn surgical masks to avoid being recognised. The Economist, "Carrie Lam invokes emergency laws in Hong Kong," 4 Oct. 2019 Teachers are wearing surgical masks, desks have become operating tables and nametags are preceded with the title, doctor. Erika Butler,, "Three Harford public school teachers presented Golden Apple Awards from FFCU," 8 Aug. 2019 Yes, $480 is a lot of money, but a surgical procedure is much more costly. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "La Prairie Skin Caviar Serum Gave Me a Non-Invasive Eye and Brow Lift in Seconds," 18 Nov. 2019

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

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for surgical

surgeon + -ical

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Time Traveler for surgical

Time Traveler

The first known use of surgical was in 1707

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Statistics for surgical

Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Surgical.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for surgical


How to pronounce surgical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surgical

: of or relating to the process of performing a medical operation : of or relating to surgery
: used during surgery
: resulting from a surgery


sur·​gi·​cal | \ ˈsər-ji-kəl How to pronounce surgical (audio) \

Kids Definition of surgical

: of, relating to, or associated with surgery or surgeons surgical instruments


sur·​gi·​cal | \ ˈsər-ji-kəl How to pronounce surgical (audio) \

Medical Definition of surgical

1 : of, relating to, or concerned with surgeons or surgery surgical skill
2 : requiring surgical treatment a surgical appendix
3 : used in or in connection with surgery surgical gauze
4 : following or resulting from surgery surgical fevers

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More from Merriam-Webster on surgical

Spanish Central: Translation of surgical

Nglish: Translation of surgical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surgical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surgical

What made you want to look up surgical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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