trop·​i·​cal | \ for sense 1 ˈträ-pi-kəl How to pronounce tropical (audio) , for sense 2 ˈtrō- also ˈträ- \

Definition of tropical

1a : of, relating to, occurring in, or suitable for use in the tropics tropical forests a tropical disease
b : of, being, or characteristic of a region or climate that is frost-free with temperatures high enough to support year-round plant growth given sufficient moisture tropical Florida

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Other Words from tropical

tropically \ ˈträ-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tropical (audio) , ˈtrō-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for tropical



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Examples of tropical in a Sentence

wanted to escape winter and visit some tropical location where freezing to death would not be a possibility an author given to high-flown tropical phrasings and convoluted symbology
Recent Examples on the Web International travel may be a standstill in many places, these articles offer a temporary escape and planning tools to visit European cities, tropical islands, and once-in-a-lifetime destinations. Tanner Saunders, Travel + Leisure, "From Inspiring Stories to Travel Tips and More: 50 T+L Articles to Celebrate Our 50th Anniversary," 5 Apr. 2021 The tropical cocktail options will remain the same. Serena Dai, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hawaiian hit Liholiho is temporarily moving to the Mission District, with plans for outdoor dining," 5 Apr. 2021 But every now and then, a defendant will want to book a flight to a tropical island resort. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Charged with a federal crime? Don’t start packing bags for beach resort vacation," 5 Apr. 2021 The tropical getaway is surely a sight worth traveling for. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort," 4 Apr. 2021 Spring fashion is usually about florals, pastels, and maybe a tropical print here and there. Emily Farra, Vogue, "You Aren’t Tripping: Fungi Are Taking Over Fashion," 2 Apr. 2021 But in Southern California tropical milkweed stays green and blooming year round. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, "Monarch butterfly fans are clamoring for native milkweed. Here are 8 places to buy it," 1 Apr. 2021 Yet Western European and North American paleontologists have paid little attention to tropical forests, focusing instead on temperate latitudes. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Created the Amazon Rain Forest," 1 Apr. 2021 On Wednesday, January 13, Randall Emmett presided over a crime scene near one of America’s few tropical rain forests in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Joshua Hunt, Vulture, "The King of the Geezer Teasers," 31 Mar. 2021

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

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tropical

(sense 1) Middle English tropikal "pertaining to the three circles of the celestial sphere (the two tropics and the equinoctial circle)," from tropik tropic entry 1 + -al -al entry 1; (sense 2) Latin tropicus "pertaining to figures of speech" (borrowed from Greek tropikós, from trópos "figurative expression, trope" + -ikos -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for tropical

Time Traveler

The first known use of tropical was in 1671

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Statistics for tropical

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tropical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for tropical



English Language Learners Definition of tropical

: of, relating to, occurring in, or used in the tropics


trop·​i·​cal | \ ˈträ-pi-kəl How to pronounce tropical (audio) \

Kids Definition of tropical

: of or occurring in the tropics tropical fruit a tropical island

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Comments on tropical

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