• synonyms


[top-i-kuh l]
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  1. pertaining to or dealing with matters of current or local interest: a topical reference.
  2. pertaining to the subject of a discourse, composition, or the like.
  3. of a place; local.
  4. Medicine/Medical. of, relating to, or applied externally to a particular part of the body; local: a topical anesthetic.
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  1. Philately. any of a collection of different stamps treating the same subject.
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Origin of topical

1580–90; < Greek topik(ós) local, pertaining to commonplaces (see topo-, -ic) + -al1
Related formstop·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for topical

newsworthy, contemporary, modern, nominal, popular, subjective, up-to-date, thematic, confined, insular, limited, parochial, particular, regional, sectional

Examples from the Web for topical

Contemporary Examples of topical

Historical Examples of topical

British Dictionary definitions for topical


  1. of, relating to, or constituting current affairs
  2. relating to a particular place; local
  3. of or relating to a topic or topics
  4. (of a drug, ointment, etc) for application to the body surface; local
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Derived Formstopicality (ˌtɒpɪˈkælɪtɪ), nountopically, 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 topical


1580s, from topic + -al (1). Medical sense is from c.1600. Meaning "of or pertaining to topics of the day" is from 1873.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

topical in Medicine


  1. Of or applied to a definite or localized area of the body.
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Related formstopi•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.