• synonyms


  1. pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of strategy: strategic movements.
  2. important in or essential to strategy.
  3. (of an action, as a military operation or a move in a game) forming an integral part of a stratagem: a strategic move in a game of chess.
  4. Military.
    1. intended to render the enemy incapable of making war, as by the destruction of materials, factories, etc.: a strategic bombing mission.
    2. essential to the conduct of a war: Copper is a strategic material.
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Sometimes stra·te·gi·cal.

Origin of strategic

1815–25; < Greek stratēgikós, equivalent to stratēg(ós) general (see strategy + -ikos -ic
Related formsstra·te·gi·cal·ly, adverbnon·stra·te·gic, adjectivenon·stra·te·gi·cal, adjectivenon·stra·te·gi·cal·ly, adverbun·stra·te·gic, adjectiveun·stra·te·gi·cal, adjectiveun·stra·te·gi·cal·ly, adverb


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for strategical

Historical Examples

  • But the radical fault of the whole enterprise was a strategical one.

    The Life of Gordon, Volume II

    Demetrius Charles Boulger

  • This is the time for a strategical retreat, as they are three to one, and we may at any time be cut off.

    Middy and Ensign

    G. Manville Fenn

  • But McClellan, as his supporters say, matures his strategical plans.

  • Nor do strategical considerations end when battle is joined.

    Sound Military Decision

    U.s. Naval War College

  • There was no strategical reason why this salient should be held so far east of Ypres.

    The Red Watch

    J. A. Currie

British Dictionary definitions for strategical



  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of strategy
  2. important to a strategy or to strategy in general
  3. (of weapons, attacks, etc) directed against an enemy's homeland rather than used on a battlefielda strategic missile; strategic bombing
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Derived Formsstrategically, adverb
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 strategical



"pertaining to strategy," 1825; see strategy + -ic. Related: Strategical; strategically.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper