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

Origin of physical

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin physicālis concerning medicine. See physic, -al1
Related formsphys·i·cal·ly, adverbphys·i·cal·ness, nounan·ti·phys·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·phys·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·phys·i·cal·ness, nounnon·phys·i·cal, adjectivenon·phys·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-phys·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-phys·i·cal·ly, adverbtrans·phys·i·cal, adjectivetrans·phys·i·cal·ly, adverbun·phys·i·cal, adjectiveun·phys·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for physical

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1. somatic; fleshly. 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. 2. tangible, palpable. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for physicals

Contemporary Examples of physicals

Historical Examples of physicals

  • The tests were from morning till night and covered everything from physicals, eye, hearing and coordination to reaction time.

British Dictionary definitions for physicals


pl n
  1. commerce commodities that can be purchased and used, as opposed to those bought and sold in a futures marketAlso called: actuals


  1. of or relating to the body, as distinguished from the mind or spirit
  2. of, relating to, or resembling material things or naturethe physical universe
  3. involving or requiring bodily contactrugby is a physical sport
  4. of or concerned with matter and energy
  5. of or relating to physics
  6. perceptible to the senses; apparenta physical manifestation
  1. short for physical examination
See also physicals
Derived Formsphysically, adverbphysicalness, 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 physicals



early 15c., "of or pertaining to material nature" (in medicine, opposed to surgical), from Medieval Latin physicalis "of nature, natural," from Latin physica "study of nature" (see physic). Meaning "pertaining to matter" is from 1590s; meaning "having to do with the body, corporeal" is attested from 1780. Meaning "characterized by bodily attributes or activities" is attested from 1970. Physical education first recorded 1838; abbreviated form phys ed is from 1955. Physical therapy is from 1922. Related: Physically.



"a physical examination," by 1934, from physical (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

physicals in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to the body as distinguished from the mind or spirit.
  2. Involving or characterized by vigorous bodily activity.
  3. Of or relating to material things.
  4. Of or relating to matter and energy or the sciences dealing with them, especially physics.
  1. A physical examination.
Related formsphys′i•cali•ty (-kălĭ-tē) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with physicals


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.