trop·​i·​cal | \ for sense 1 ˈträ-pi-kəl, 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

2 [ Latin tropicus, from Greek tropikos, from tropos trope ] : figurative sense 2

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Other Words from tropical

tropically \ ˈträ-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē , ˈtrō-​ \ adverb

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

The Friends of the Domes, a support group, is asking the task force to consider the option of replacing all three domes with a new structure to house the tropical and desert plant collections. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Public hearing draws support for preserving the Mitchell Park Domes in MIlwaukee," 26 June 2018 Green sea turtles are found in tropical and temperate waters around the world from South Africa to the Galapagos and from Japan to parts of Canada. National Geographic, "Searching for Elusive Green Sea Turtles in the Persian Gulf," 16 June 2018 As its name implies, this mosquito species is originally a native of Asia and is more common in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Gregory B. Hladky,, "What You Need To Know About The Invasive Mosquito Expected To Spread To Connecticut," 6 June 2018 Environmental conditions are forecast to steadily become more conducive for development, and a subtropical or tropical depression or storm is likely to form by Saturday over the northwestern Caribbean Sea or the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "System nearing Gulf becomes better defined, likely to form depression by Saturday," 25 May 2018 Go for colors like blue and white, and accents like tropical plants and shells. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "Here's What 'The Simpsons' Living Room Would Look Like in the Real World," 10 July 2018 Her face is obscured (or replaced?) by a smaller, round frame featuring a detail of a European tapestry depicting tropical plants. Sharon Mizota,, "Review: Photographer Todd Gray traces African roots," 9 July 2018 Today, the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore, completed in 2010, features vast indoor courtyards of tropical plants surrounding patient areas. Ken Wells, WSJ, "More Buildings Are Going Green. Literally.," 26 June 2018 Critical Roles Fruit-eating species disperse as much as 95 percent of tropical plants and large fish consume a high diversity of seeds, which enhances germination. Adam Popescu, National Geographic, "These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them," 12 June 2018

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

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Statistics for tropical

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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The first known use of tropical was in 1671

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English Language Learners Definition of tropical

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


trop·​i·​cal | \ˈträ-pi-kəl \

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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by force of circumstances

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