topical

adjective top·i·cal \ ˈtä-pi-kəl \
Updated on: 18 Dec 2017

Definition of topical

1 a : referring to the topics of the day or place : of local or temporary interest
  • a topical novel
  • topical references
b : of, relating to, or arranged by topics
  • set down in topical form
2 : designed for or involving local application and action (as on the body)
  • a topical anesthetic
  • a topical remedy

topically

play \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of topical from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'topical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Like a topical medicine, a topical reference or story applies to something specific, focusing on a topic that's currently in the news. TV comedians often use topical humor, making jokes about a currently popular movie or the latest political scandal—if possible, one that just broke that same day. Topical humor has a short lifespan, though, because the news keeps changing and the new hot topics just keep coming. The medical meaning of topical stays closer to the meaning of the root, since it describes something that's put right on the place that seems to need it.

First Known Use of topical

circa 1525


TOPICAL Defined for English Language Learners

topical

adjective

Definition of topical for English Language Learners

  • : relating to current news or events : dealing with things that are important, popular, etc., right now

  • medical : made to be put on the skin


Medical Dictionary

topical

adjective top·i·cal \ ˈtäp-i-kəl \

medical Definition of topical

: designed for or involving application to or action on the surface of a part of the body
  • applied a topical anesthetic to numb the skin
  • eyedrops used in the topical treatment of glaucoma

topically

play \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


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allowing a liquid or gas to pass through

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