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[prak-tik-lee] /ˈpræk tɪk li/
in effect; virtually:
It is practically useless to protest.
in a practical manner:
to think practically.
from a practical point of view:
Practically speaking, the plan is not very promising.
almost; nearly:
Their provisions were practically gone.
Origin of practically
First recorded in 1615-25; practical + -ly
Usage note
A few usage guides object to the use of practically in the senses “in effect, virtually” and “almost, nearly.” Both uses, however, are well established and standard in all varieties of speech and writing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for practically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had practically admitted his authorship of the notice in the Winnipeg paper.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • Over there the citizens of each country are practically of one race.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • The use of chloride of zinc is practically essential in this case.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • He realized, too, that she had put him practically at her mercy by the promise he had given.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • But practically it did tend to disintegration of established institutions.

British Dictionary definitions for practically


/ˈpræktɪkəlɪ; -klɪ/
virtually; almost: it has rained practically every day
in actuality rather than in theory: what can we do practically to help?
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for practically

1620s, "in a practical manner," from practical + -ly (2). Meaning "for practical purposes, as good as" is from 1748; loosened sense of "almost" is from 1869.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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