One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of the nature of an atom or atoms; consisting of or involving atoms. Compare "atomic". Now rare.
2Chiefly History of Science. Designating or adhering to the doctrine of atoms as understood in ancient Greek philosophy or later.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Edmund Bolton (?1575/5–?1634), antiquary and historian. From atom + -ical.
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