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

Synonyms & Antonyms for tropical


equatorial, low



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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

What is most concerning is the tropical moisture that this system will drag with it. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Hurricane Florence represents a grave threat to the East Coast," 10 Sep. 2018 In Paris’s oldest basketball court, the pair erected a tropical paradise with neon flowers, lemon verbena wafting about, and the chirping sounds of Aussie birds on the soundtrack. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Romance Was Born Brings Its “Kinda Couture” to Paris," 3 July 2018 Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center is no longer monitoring a low pressure system near the Yucatan Peninsula for possible development into a tropical disturbance. Stephen Ruiz,, "Orlando weather: More afternoon rain likely on the way," 15 June 2018 Together, these layers suggest that the ancient climate quickly shifted from tropical paradise to frozen wasteland, Maclennan and colleagues report this month in Geology. Lucas Joel, Science | AAAS, "Ancient Earth froze over in a geologic instant," 7 June 2018 The National Hurricane Center upgraded the tropical disturbance to Subtropical Storm Alberto around 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 25. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "How rare would a May hurricane be? The Beatles had a hit the last time it happened," 25 May 2018 The National Hurricane Center reports that the tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula is gradually becoming better defined and now has a higher chance of development, CBS Miami reports. CBS News, "Tropical cyclone possible in Gulf of Mexico this weekend, National Hurricane Center says," 25 May 2018 While a tropical paradise, there is not much to do except swim or otherwise stay in shape. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "Island or Rock? Taiwan Defends Its Claim in South China Sea," 20 May 2018 Since 2009, the home has been their slice of heaven, a tropical paradise far removed from the long winter nights and deep freezes of the upper Midwest. Tyler Langan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hawaii family with Wisconsin roots fears their home may be destroyed by lava from the Kilauea volcano," 8 May 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

18 Feb 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tropical

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tropical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tropical

Spanish Central: Translation of tropical

Nglish: Translation of tropical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tropical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tropical

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very full or close together

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