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See more synonyms for practically on Thesaurus.com
  1. in effect; virtually: It is practically useless to protest.
  2. in a practical manner: to think practically.
  3. from a practical point of view: Practically speaking, the plan is not very promising.
  4. almost; nearly: Their provisions were practically gone.
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Origin of practically

First recorded in 1615–25; practical + -ly

Usage note

A few usage guides object to the use of practically in the senses “in effect, virtually” and “almost, nearly.” Both uses, however, are well established and standard in all varieties of speech and writing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for practically


  1. virtually; almostit has rained practically every day
  2. in actuality rather than in theorywhat can we do practically to help?
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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 practically


1620s, "in a practical manner," from practical + -ly (2). Meaning "for practical purposes, as good as" is from 1748; loosened sense of "almost" is from 1869.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper