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[sur-ji-kuh l] /ˈsɜr dʒɪ kəl/
pertaining to or involving surgery or surgeons.
used in surgery.
characterized by extreme precision or incisiveness:
a surgical air strike against enemy targets.
Origin of surgical
First recorded in 1760-70; surg(eon) + -ical
Related forms
surgically, adverb
nonsurgical, adjective
nonsurgically, adverb
postsurgical, adjective
presurgical, adjective
prosurgical, adjective
unsurgical, adjective
unsurgically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for surgical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had been assigned to the men's surgical ward, and went there at once.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Two others had pushed on, one to the house, the other for surgical aid.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • The surgical wards were darkened, and the patients were asleep already.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • In the corridor to the surgical ward they came upon John Storm.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Includes a list of the necessary medical and surgical supplies.

    Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray
British Dictionary definitions for surgical


of, relating to, involving, or used in surgery
(of an action) performed with extreme precision: a surgical air attack on the missile complex
Derived Forms
surgically, adverb
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 surgical

1770, alteration of chirurgical; see surgery + -ical. Related: Surgically.

surgical strike: There is no such thing. Don't use unless in a quote, then question what that means. [Isaac Cubillos, "Military Reporters Stylebook and Reference Guide," 2010]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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surgical in Medicine

surgical sur·gi·cal (sûr'jĭ-kəl)

  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of surgeons or surgery.

  2. Used in surgery.

  3. Resulting from or occurring after surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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