phil·​o·​soph·​i·​cal ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fi-kəl How to pronounce philosophical (audio)
 also  -ˈzä-
variants or less commonly philosophic
ˌfi-lə-ˈsä-fik How to pronounce philosophical (audio)
 also  -ˈzä-
: of or relating to philosophers or philosophy
: based on philosophy
: characterized by the attitude of a philosopher
specifically : calm or unflinching in the face of trouble, defeat, or loss
philosophically adverb

Examples of philosophical in a Sentence

They got into a philosophical debate about what it means for something to be “natural.” He's trying to be philosophical about their decision since he knows he can't change it.
Recent Examples on the Web The thinning of their farm system comes a little over a year after an apparent philosophical shift in their front office. Daniel R. Epstein, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Richie is philosophical about the Purple One’s absence. Mikael Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 And then there are the visionary, mystical, and philosophical applications. Jaron Lanier, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2024 That’s because, said owner Bryan Arri, the name is less a literal reference to that particular type of plant than a philosophical homage to fern bars, singles-friendly establishments popular from the late 1960s up through the 1980s. David Hudnall, Kansas City Star, 2 Feb. 2024 Nonmedical exemptions, for religious or philosophical reasons, are allowed in all but three states, the agency says. Stephen Stock, Leigh Ann Winick, CBS News, 23 Jan. 2024 The committee landed on this topic given its current relevance as well as the more timeless philosophical idea that all freedoms come with some sort of cost. Frank Lee, Twin Cities, 15 Jan. 2024 The study of philosophy exposes people to a wide range of philosophical ideas, theories and schools of thought. Stephanie Dillon, Rolling Stone, 31 Jan. 2024 With an open mind, Kestner embarks on a philosophical voyage around the world to look for answers to his questions. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'philosophical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of philosophical was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near philosophical

Cite this Entry

“Philosophical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also philosophic
: of, relating to, or based on philosophy
: characterized by the attitude of a philosopher
especially : calm and patient when faced with trouble
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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