Definition of topical
1a : referring to the topics of the day or place : of local or temporary interest a topical novel topical referencesb : 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
topicallyplay \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
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
TOPICAL Defined for English Language Learners
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
Seen and Heard
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