Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective physical contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of physical are corporeal, material, objective, phenomenal, and sensible. While all these words mean "of or belonging to actuality," physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary.

the physical benefits of exercise

When is it sensible to use corporeal instead of physical?

Although the words corporeal and physical have much in common, corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force.

artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings

When is material a more appropriate choice than physical?

The words material and physical are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping.

material values

When would objective be a good substitute for physical?

In some situations, the words objective and physical are roughly equivalent. However, objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it.

no objective evidence of damage

Where would phenomenal be a reasonable alternative to physical?

The meanings of phenomenal and physical largely overlap; however, phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction.

scientists concerned with the phenomenal world

When could sensible be used to replace physical?

The words sensible and physical can be used in similar contexts, but sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses.

the earth's rotation is not sensible to us

Thesaurus Entries Near physical

Cite this Entry

“Physical.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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