[klin-i-kuh l]


pertaining to a clinic.
concerned with or based on actual observation and treatment of disease in patients rather than experimentation or theory.
extremely objective and realistic; dispassionately analytic; unemotionally critical: She regarded him with clinical detachment.
pertaining to or used in a sickroom: a clinical bandage.
  1. (of a sacrament) administered on a deathbed or sickbed.
  2. (of a convert or conversion) made on a deathbed or sickbed.

Origin of clinical

First recorded in 1770–80; clinic + -al1
Related formsclin·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·clin·i·cal, adjectivenon·clin·i·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·clin·i·cal, adjectiveo·ver·clin·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·clin·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·clin·i·cal·ly, adverbun·clin·i·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for clinical



of or relating to a clinic
of or relating to the bedside of a patient, the course of his disease, or the observation and treatment of patients directlya clinical lecture; clinical medicine
scientifically detached; strictly objectivea clinical attitude to life
plain, simple, and usually unattractiveclinical furniture
Derived Formsclinically, adverbclinicalness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for clinical

1780, "pertaining to hospital patients or hospital care," from clinic + -al (2). Meaning "coldly dispassionate" (like a medical report) is recorded from 1928. Related: Clinically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for clinical




Relating to the bedside treatment of a patient or to the course of the disease.
Relating to the observed symptoms and course of a disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.