View synonyms for practical


[ prak-ti-kuhl ]


  1. of or relating to practice or action:

    practical mathematics.

    Synonyms: pragmatic

  2. consisting of, involving, or resulting from practice or action:

    a practical application of a rule.

  3. of, relating to, or concerned with ordinary activities, business, or work:

    a habitual dreamer, who can't be bothered with practical affairs.

  4. adapted or designed for actual use; useful:

    practical instructions.

  5. engaged or experienced in actual practice or work:

    a practical politician credited with much legislation.

  6. inclined toward or fitted for actual work or useful activities:

    looking for a practical person to fill this position.

  7. mindful of the results, usefulness, advantages or disadvantages, etc., of action or procedure.

    Antonyms: foolish, unwise, imprudent, ill-advised

  8. being such in practice or effect; virtual:

    Her promotion to manager is a practical certainty.


/ ˈpræktɪkəl /


  1. of, involving, or concerned with experience or actual use; not theoretical
  2. of or concerned with ordinary affairs, work, etc
  3. adapted or adaptable for use
  4. of, involving, or trained by practice
  5. being such for all useful or general purposes; virtual


  1. an examination in the practical skills of a subject

    a science practical

Discover More


A distinction is usually made between practical and practicable. Practical refers to a person, idea, project, etc, as being more concerned with or relevant to practice than theory: he is a very practical person; the idea had no practical application. Practicable refers to a project or idea as being capable of being done or put into effect: the plan was expensive, yet practicable

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˌpractiˈcality, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • prac·ti·cal·i·ty [prak-ti-, kal, -i-tee], prac·ti·cal·ness noun
  • non·prac·ti·cal adjective
  • non·prac·ti·cal·ly adverb
  • non·prac·ti·cal·ness noun
  • pre·prac·ti·cal adjective
  • qua·si-prac·ti·cal adjective
  • qua·si-prac·ti·cal·ly adverb
  • sem·i·prac·ti·cal adjective
  • ul·tra·prac·ti·cal adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of practical1

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English. See practic, -al 1

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of practical1

C17: from earlier practic, from French pratique, via Late Latin from Greek praktikos, from prassein to experience, negotiate, perform

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

see to all intents and (for all practical) purposes .

Discover More

Synonym Study

Practical, judicious, sensible refer to good judgment in action, conduct, and the handling of everyday matters. Practical suggests the ability to adopt means to an end or to turn what is at hand to account: to adopt practical measures for settling problems. Judicious implies the possession and use of discreet judgment, discrimination, and balance: a judicious use of one's time. Sensible implies the possession and use of sound reason and shrewd common sense: a sensible suggestion.

Discover More

Example Sentences

The technology will allow you to create websites that your users find practical and useful.

Machine washable and dryer safe, this is practical for everyday use.

It’s not only a matter of waiting for an all-clear from authorities, Suh said, but addressing the “practical realities” of a socially distanced workplace, anticipating the daily flow of people within an office.

From Digiday

As with any fashion decision, there are both practical and aesthetic factors to consider.

The giving and receiving of presents is not a practical proposition.

A practical man who refused to run from the dreams that always drove him.

This government obligation is limited by practical considerations of safety and security.

On a practical level, readers are attracted to books that they can read in short bits.

My concerns are whether practical information is being given to the people.

For starters, from a purely practical, all-hands-on-deck position, I say if you can do the job, you should keep the job.

These practical demonstrations occurred usually in the opening enthusiasm of the term.

As the weeks wore on, the pretence of practical teaching was quietly dropped, and we crammed our science out of the text-book.

It has a training value entirely apart‌ from its practical value in that case.

The latter is a square-faced practical man, who is looked up to as a species of oracle by all his friends.

Modified and amended as their system is in its practical application, it still largely conditions our outlook to-day.


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.




practicablepractical art