[sur-ji-kuh l]


pertaining to or involving surgery or surgeons.
used in surgery.
characterized by extreme precision or incisiveness: a surgical air strike against enemy targets.

Origin of surgical

First recorded in 1760–70; surg(eon) + -ical
Related formssur·gi·cal·ly, adverbnon·sur·gi·cal, adjectivenon·sur·gi·cal·ly, adverbpost·sur·gi·cal, adjectivepre·sur·gi·cal, adjectivepro·sur·gi·cal, adjectiveun·sur·gi·cal, adjectiveun·sur·gi·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for surgical

Contemporary Examples of surgical

Historical Examples of surgical

  • She had been assigned to the men's surgical ward, and went there at once.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Two others had pushed on, one to the house, the other for surgical aid.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • The surgical wards were darkened, and the patients were asleep already.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • In the corridor to the surgical ward they came upon John Storm.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Includes a list of the necessary medical and surgical supplies.


    Leon Luther Pray

British Dictionary definitions for surgical



of, relating to, involving, or used in surgery
(of an action) performed with extreme precisiona surgical air attack on the missile complex
Derived Formssurgically, 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 surgical

1770, alteration of chirurgical; see surgery + -ical. Related: Surgically.

surgical strike: There is no such thing. Don't use unless in a quote, then question what that means. [Isaac Cubillos, "Military Reporters Stylebook and Reference Guide," 2010]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

surgical in Medicine




Of, relating to, or characteristic of surgeons or surgery.
Used in surgery.
Resulting from or occurring after surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.