[ prak-ti-kuhl ]
See synonyms for: practicalpracticality on

  1. of or relating to practice or action: practical mathematics.

  2. consisting of, involving, or resulting from practice or action: a practical application of a rule.

  1. of, relating to, or concerned with ordinary activities, business, or work: a habitual dreamer, who can't be bothered with practical affairs.

  2. adapted or designed for actual use; useful: practical instructions.

  3. engaged or experienced in actual practice or work: a practical politician credited with much legislation.

  4. inclined toward or fitted for actual work or useful activities: looking for a practical person to fill this position.

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

  6. being such in practice or effect; virtual: Her promotion to manager is a practical certainty.

Origin of practical

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English. See practic, -al1

synonym study For practical

7. 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.

Other words for practical

Opposites for practical

Other words from practical

  • prac·ti·cal·i·ty [prak-ti-kal-i-tee], /ˌpræk tɪˈkæl ɪ ti/, 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

Words that may be confused with practical

Words Nearby practical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use practical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for practical


/ (ˈpræktɪkəl) /

  1. of, involving, or concerned with experience or actual use; not theoretical

  2. of or concerned with ordinary affairs, work, etc

  1. adapted or adaptable for use

  2. of, involving, or trained by practice

  3. being such for all useful or general purposes; virtual

  1. an examination in the practical skills of a subject: a science practical

Origin of practical

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

usage For practical

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

Derived forms of practical

  • practicality or practicalness, 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 practical


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

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