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

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 Coral reefs also buffer the impacts of tropical storms on land. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 Water hyacinths, with their seemingly harmless violet petals and lush green leaves, have invaded tropical parts of Central Africa, including Benin. Ramin Skibba, Wired, 26 Oct. 2021 Think of how much energy is needed to heat and cool 7,000 hotels (with nearly 3,000 on the way), many of which are in tropical parts of the world. Jennifer Leigh Parker, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 The disease had greatly affected British officers posted in tropical parts of the country in the 19th century. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 7 Oct. 2021 In the last decade alone, the study notes, the United States has seen $480 billion in losses due tropical storms and hurricanes. Jennifer Gray, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 The area was destroyed after hurricanes Ida and Zeta and several tropical storms over the past two years, officials said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 Mahoney has since earned her mom's approval and even joined the family on a tropical vacation last summer. Alexandra Schonfeld,, 18 Apr. 2022 The island nation of Madagascar has been worst affected, hit by a cyclone and four tropical storms that left at least 178 people dead during February and March. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of tropical was in 1671

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Dictionary Entries Near tropical



tropical air

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tropical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tropical


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tropical

Nglish: Translation of tropical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tropical for Arabic Speakers


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