Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Physical

Phys′ic-al

(fĭz′ĭ-kal)
,
Adj.
1.
Of or pertaining to nature (as including all created existences); in accordance with the laws of nature; also, of or relating to natural or material things, or to the bodily structure, as opposed to things mental, moral, spiritual, or imaginary; material; natural;
as, armies and navies are the
physical
force of a nation; the body is the
physical
part of man.
Labor, in the
physical
world, is . . . employed in putting objects in motion.
J. S. Mill.
A society sunk in ignorance, and ruled by mere
physical
force.
Macaulay.
2.
Of or pertaining to physics, or natural philosophy; treating of, or relating to, the causes and connections of natural phenomena;
as,
physical
science;
physical
laws.
Physical philosophy.”
Pope.
3.
Perceptible through a bodily or material organization; cognizable by the senses; external;
as, the
physical
, opposed to
chemical
, characters of a mineral
.
4.
Of or pertaining to physic, or the art of medicine; medicinal; curative; healing; also, cathartic; purgative.
[Obs.]
Physical herbs.”
Sir T. North.
Is Brutus sick? and is it
physical

To walk unbraced, and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning?
Shakespeare
Physical astronomy
,
that part of astronomy which treats of the causes of the celestial motions; specifically, that which treats of the motions resulting from universal gravitation.
Physical education
,
training of the bodily organs and powers with a view to the promotion of health and vigor.
Physical examination
(Med.)
,
an examination of the bodily condition of a person.
Physical geography
.
See under
Geography
.
Physical point
,
an indefinitely small portion of matter; a point conceived as being without extension, yet having physical properties, as weight, inertia, momentum, etc.; a material point.
Physical signs
(Med.)
,
the objective signs of the bodily state afforded by a physical examination.

Webster 1828 Edition


Physical

PHYS'ICAL

,
Adj.
Pertaining to nature or natural productions, or to material things, as opposed to things moral or imaginary. We speak of physical force or power, with reference to material things; as, muscular strength is physical force; armies and navies are the physical force of a nation; whereas wisdom, knowledge, skill, &c. constitute moral force. A physical point is a real point, in distinction from a mathematical or imaginary point. A physical body or substance is a material body or substance,in distinction from spirit or metaphysical substance.
1.
External; perceptible to the senses; as the physical characters of a mineral; opposed to chimical.
2.
Relating to the art of healing; as a physical treatise.
3.
Having the property of evacuating the bowels; as physical herbs.
4.
Medicinal; promoting the cure of diseases.
5.
Resembling physic; as a physical taste.
[In the three latter senses, nearly obsolete among professional men.]
Physical education, the education which is directed to the object of giving strength, health and vigor to the bodily organs and powers.

Definition 2021


physical

physical

English

Adjective

physical (comparative more physical, superlative most physical)

  1. Having to do with the body.
    Are you feeling any physical effects?
  2. Having to do with the material world.
    • John Stuart Mill
      Labour, in the physical world, is [] employed in putting objects in motion.
    • Macaulay
      A society sunk in ignorance, and ruled by mere physical force.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.
    It's not so much a physical place as a state of mind.
  3. Involving bodily force.
    This team plays a very physical game, so watch out.
  4. Having to do with physics.
    • 2012 January 1, Michael Riordan, “Tackling Infinity”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 86:
      Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the theories.
    The substance has a number of interesting physical properties.
  5. (computing) Not virtual; directly corresponding to hardware operation.
  6. (obsolete) Relating to physic, or medicine; medicinal; curative; also, cathartic; purgative.
    • Sir T. North
      Physical herbs.
    • Shakespeare
      Is Brutus sick? and is it physical / To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours / Of the dank morning?

Antonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

physical (plural physicals)

  1. Physical examination.
    How long has it been since your last physical?

Synonyms

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: passage · wood · matters · #894: physical · spring · troops · meeting