[ fiz-i-kuhl ]
See synonyms for: physicalphysicalsphysically on

  1. of or relating to the body: physical exercise.

  2. of or relating to that which is material: the physical universe; the physical sciences.

  1. noting or pertaining to the properties of matter and energy other than those peculiar to living matter.

  2. pertaining to the physical sciences, especially physics.

  3. carnal; sexual: a physical attraction.

  4. tending to touch, hug, pat, etc.; physically demonstrative: a physical person.

  5. requiring, characterized by, or liking rough physical contact or strenuous physical activity: Football is a physical sport.

Origin of physical

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Medieval Latin physicālis “concerning medicine.” See physic, -al1

synonym study For physical

1. 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.

Other words for physical

Other words from physical

  • 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

Words Nearby physical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use physical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for physical


/ (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

  1. involving or requiring bodily contact: rugby is a physical sport

  2. of or concerned with matter and energy

  3. of or relating to physics

  4. perceptible to the senses; apparent: a physical manifestation


Derived forms of physical

  • physically, adverb
  • physicalness, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with physical


see get physical.

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