[ trop-i-kuh l for 1–4, 6; troh-pi-kuh l for 5 ]
/ ˈtrɒp ɪ kəl for 1–4, 6; ˈtroʊ pɪ kəl for 5 /


pertaining to, characteristic of, occurring in, or inhabiting the tropics, especially the humid tropics: tropical flowers.
very hot and humid: a tropical climate.
designed for use in the tropics or in very hot weather (often used in combination): tropical-weight woolens.
of or relating to either or both of the astronomical tropics.
pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of a trope or tropes; metaphorical.


tropicals, lightweight clothing, suitable for warm, especially summer weather.

Origin of tropical

First recorded in 1520–30; tropic + -al1
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tropically

  • The air, as it touched his face, was tropically warm and indolent with voluptuous fragrance of flowers and plants.

    Idolatry|Julian Hawthorne
  • The day had been tropically warm; we had sought the shore for a breath of living air.

    Our National Defense:|George Hebard Maxwell
  • They looked so tropically warm and moved, he hardly knew what greeting he might receive.

    The Prisoner|Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for tropically


/ (ˈtrɒpɪkəl) /


situated in, used in, characteristic of, or relating to the tropics
(of weather) very hot, esp when humid
rhetoric of or relating to a trope
Derived Formstropicality, nountropically, 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 tropically



1520s, "pertaining to the celestial tropics," from tropic + -al (1). In reference to the torrid zones of the earth, from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper