Definition of topical
- a topical novel
- topical references
- set down in topical form
- a topical anesthetic
- a topical remedy
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.
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.
What made you want to look up topical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).