• synonyms


[klin-i-kuh l]
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  1. pertaining to a clinic.
  2. concerned with or based on actual observation and treatment of disease in patients rather than experimentation or theory.
  3. extremely objective and realistic; dispassionately analytic; unemotionally critical: She regarded him with clinical detachment.
  4. pertaining to or used in a sickroom: a clinical bandage.
  5. Ecclesiastical.
    1. (of a sacrament) administered on a deathbed or sickbed.
    2. (of a convert or conversion) made on a deathbed or sickbed.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for clinical

analytic, impersonal, scientific, antiseptic, cold, detached, disinterested, emotionless, objective, unemotional

Examples from the Web for clinical

Contemporary Examples of clinical

Historical Examples of clinical

British Dictionary definitions for clinical


  1. of or relating to a clinic
  2. 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
  3. scientifically detached; strictly objectivea clinical attitude to life
  4. plain, simple, and usually unattractiveclinical furniture
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clinical in Medicine


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