View synonyms for physical


[ fiz-i-kuhl ]


  1. of or relating to the body:

    physical exercise.

    Synonyms: fleshly, somatic

  2. of or relating to that which is material:

    the physical universe; the physical sciences.

    Synonyms: palpable, tangible

  3. noting or pertaining to the properties of matter and energy other than those peculiar to living matter.
  4. pertaining to the physical sciences, especially physics. physics.
  5. carnal; sexual:

    a physical attraction.

  6. tending to touch, hug, pat, etc.; physically demonstrative:

    a physical person.

  7. requiring, characterized by, or liking rough physical contact or strenuous physical activity:

    Football is a physical sport.


/ ˈfɪzɪkəl /


  1. of or relating to the body, as distinguished from the mind or spirit
  2. of, relating to, or resembling material things or nature

    the physical universe

  3. involving or requiring bodily contact

    rugby is a physical sport

  4. of or concerned with matter and energy
  5. of or relating to physics
  6. perceptible to the senses; apparent

    a physical manifestation


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Derived Forms

  • ˈphysicalness, noun
  • ˈphysically, adverb

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Other Words From

  • physi·cal·ly adverb
  • physi·cal·ness noun
  • anti·physi·cal adjective
  • anti·physi·cal·ly adverb
  • anti·physi·cal·ness noun
  • non·physi·cal adjective
  • non·physi·cal·ly adverb
  • quasi-physi·cal adjective
  • quasi-physi·cal·ly adverb
  • trans·physi·cal adjective
  • trans·physi·cal·ly adverb
  • un·physi·cal adjective
  • un·physi·cal·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of physical1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Medieval Latin physicālis “concerning medicine.” See physic, -al 1

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Idioms and Phrases

see get physical .

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Synonym Study

Physical, bodily, corporeal, corporal agree in pertaining to the body. Physical indicates connected with, pertaining to, the animal or human body as a material organism: physical strength, exercise. Bodily means belonging to, concerned with, the human body as distinct from the mind or spirit: bodily pain or suffering. Corporeal, a more poetic and philosophical word than bodily, refers especially to the mortal substance of which the human body is composed as opposed to spirit: this corporeal habitation. Corporal is now usually reserved for reference to whippings and other punishments inflicted on the human body.

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Example Sentences

A guideline to improve children’s physical health, for example, includes using AI to help tackle environmental pollution.

However, coronavirus threw a spanner in the works for physical stores.

From Quartz

During the pandemic, getting enough physical activity may be even more difficult than usual.

Some school districts are trying to bring younger kids into physical classrooms before older kids.

For her events, she always include “artifacts,” as Haskins calls them, or vignettes primed for social media—a way for the event to extend beyond the physical room.

From Fortune

Also, she was tall and thin, too, further adding to the ways she met the physical beauty conventions.

And with the dance sequence, we wanted something very physical.

But this physical involvement, or lack of it, is only part of the problem.

If the operation caused no physical damage, it would be in bounds.

That means any response that could result in physical damage inside North Korea is off the table.

The foreman's immense voice, explaining machines and tools, caused physical vibrations in her.

The two enjoyed a mutual understanding from which he was excluded, a private intimacy that was spiritual, mental,— physical.

Its continued presence in pulmonary tuberculosis is, however, a grave prognostic sign, even when the physical signs are slight.

I rejoice in being able to say that the general tendency of the speeches was towards universal Emancipation, mental and physical.

His entire being now relaxed itself; and his physical system found relief in long, deep sighs.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




physicphysical anthropology