Definition of physical in English:

physical

adjective

  • 1Relating to the body as opposed to the mind:

    ‘a range of physical and mental challenges’
    • ‘He enjoys the contrasts of mental and physical challenge.’
    • ‘Mental and physical exhaustion retards the growth of body and mind, and it often causes a psychosomatic illness.’
    • ‘A complicated strategy underlies the thrusts and parries of a duel - making it both a mental and physical challenge.’
    • ‘When cycling enthusiast Katie Bamber booked a charity trip to Vietnam she was bracing herself for a tough mental and physical challenge.’
    • ‘In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well.’
    • ‘The play ebbed and flowed from one end of the field to the other, with no regard for the physical limitations of the body nor that of the human mind.’
    • ‘Everyone, absolutely everyone, even the greatest ballerina, can recite a list of self-perceived physical deficits.’
    • ‘From birth, such an infant will reflexively grab and tightly grip whenever he perceives a physical threat.’
    • ‘The healing takes places on an emotional level, a mental level, and on a body level, a physical level.’
    • ‘I got such a strange sense of what his physical presence would have been like.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, he describes the climb as a mental, not physical, challenge.’
    • ‘First, small steps can be taken to help achieve a basic sense of physical safety.’
    • ‘Last night I really hurt someone, and I don't mean in the physical sense.’
    • ‘Thus it will be seen that a sense of physical security and economic status can be far more influential than is generally recognised.’
    • ‘Even buying a pint of milk was turned into a mental and physical challenge.’
    • ‘The Short Form Health Survey was designed to measure perceived current physical health.’
    • ‘There is a sense of physical smallness before these works, a kind of Alice in Wonderland-esque trip.’
    • ‘He was distracted from his blindness, he says, by the deluge of mental and physical challenges coming his way.’
    • ‘With the emergence of the first decent wind of the week, this was links golf at its best, challenging the mental and physical endurance of all concerned.’
    bodily, corporeal, corporal, fleshly, in the flesh
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    1. 1.1 Involving bodily contact or activity:
      ‘less physical sports such as bowls’
      ‘a physical relationship’
      • ‘There are obvious abuses in this world: physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.’
      • ‘By the way, those who say that diving is not a physical contact sport should take a look at Beachcomber's recent emails.’
      • ‘Sexual and physical assault is still a common problem seen day today in our hospitals.’
      • ‘These guys are playing a physical contact game, they're all steamed up.’
      • ‘One of the most common allegations relates to physical abuse and excessive corporal punishment.’
      • ‘Rugby is a contact sport that involves physical collisions among its players.’
      • ‘This included 126 physical assaults, 62 sexual insults and threats and nine cases of racist abuse.’
      • ‘Teachers will be asked to say whether they have faced situations ranging from mob intimidation, physical assault or sexual or racial harassment.’
      • ‘Abuse of a child can mean physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.’
      • ‘All physical contact sports carry an element of risk, and it is a risk that players are aware of and accept.’
      • ‘The cycle needs to be broken - youths need to know abuse is wrong before sexual and physical assaults stop.’
      • ‘The alleged sexual and physical assault was inflicted on a young Latvian man at Station Road, Portarlington recently.’
      • ‘Renner and Yurchesyn compared cases of physical assault, sexual assault and robbery in Nova Scotia.’
      • ‘Many drop out of school and many are prey to sexual and physical abuse, neglect and substance abuse.’
      • ‘Yes, there is the element of consent and the obvious foreknowledge that physical contact sports carry an inherent risk of injury.’
      • ‘They are vulnerable to physical assault, sexual harassment, and rape, and their experiences and fears have tended not to be taken seriously.’
      • ‘Sexual and physical assaults in adulthood are also related to psychiatric disorders.’
      • ‘One of the most obvious ways that a victim can avoid or escape physical abuse may be by contacting the police and leaving the home.’
      • ‘Sexual assault, like physical assault, is a frequent event experienced by street prostitutes.’
      • ‘We berate those who cross the line and leave the immature and underdeveloped open to the physical abuse of contact and collision sports.’
      manual, labouring, blue-collar
      earthly, worldly, terrestrial, earthbound, non-spiritual, unspiritual, material
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  • 2Relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete:

    ‘the physical world’
    • ‘The media used to transport this information are, in a very real sense, the physical highways over which it travels.’
    • ‘When I say this, what I express is not my wish for a pure poetry, but a concrete, physical attitude.’
    • ‘The actual physical objects in the environment that we see make up the contents of our experience.’
    • ‘This type of allocation is a physical transfer of a tangible asset from the company to the investors.’
    • ‘Another issue, in design writing at least, is that online writing is separated from a tangible physical object.’
    • ‘Like so many things, it's a combination of social reality with a tangible, physical reality.’
    • ‘For these are paintings in the traditional sense: unique physical objects which display the marks of craft and have a real presence.’
    • ‘The social tone and ethos of the school are both very positive as too is the overall quality of the actual physical working environment.’
    • ‘Moreover, the piece only refers to a concrete physical setting twice.’
    • ‘I can't STAND, for example, to start out with a sense of the actual physical shape a poem is going to take.’
    • ‘Common sense says that the physical environment has an impact on productivity.’
    • ‘Most life forms on Earth consist of organic carbon, while inorganic carbon may dominate the visible physical environment.’
    • ‘It has a physical presence - a sense of weight - that computer generated effects lack.’
    • ‘Most businesses deal with the physical assets and the environment within, but have never looked at the people.’
    • ‘A further ambiguity lies in our inability to determine if this availability is merely visual, or if it involves possession in a physical sense.’
    • ‘We have a moral sense that we use to make moral observations, in the same way as we use our physical senses to make physical observations.’
    • ‘The man and his sheep and, indeed, the paint and paper itself, provide the only physical sense of solidity.’
    • ‘These are tangible, physical assets and totally unlike the stock of a typical NYSE company.’
    • ‘My desire is to bring the viewer out of the gallery space and into the actual physical environment of the lakebed.’
    • ‘What you are able to perceive of the physical world is actually very fragmentary.’
    material, substantial, solid, concrete, tangible, palpable, visible, real, actual
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  • 3Relating to physics or the operation of natural forces generally:

    ‘physical laws’
    • ‘Feynman's work is filled with the sort of raw physical insight that physicists love and admire.’
    • ‘Certainly, before Newton, the very idea of physical law was at best a blur.’
    • ‘Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws.’
    • ‘When we discuss phase changes to matter, physical forces create the changes.’
    • ‘According to Bridgman, every physical concept is defined by the operations a physicist uses to apply it.’

noun

  • 1A medical examination to determine a person's bodily fitness:

    ‘at fifty-something, each year's physical was a kind of lottery’
    • ‘He had been plagued by serious injuries, and the Texans didn't think he could pass a physical.’
    • ‘Just before school was to start, I received a notice from the Navy to report to Oakland Reserve Base for a physical.’
    • ‘Were you anxious or nervous about going to a doctor for a complete physical?’
    • ‘Within one week of school start, I was ordered to report for a physical.’
    • ‘History and physical with a complete neurologic exam are essential.’
    • ‘Having a doctor conduct a thorough physical could prevent a tragedy.’
    • ‘Patients of all ages came for medical care, physicals, immunizations and reassurance.’
    • ‘She loved going to the doctor's office and insisted on having a complete physical at every visit.’
    • ‘None of these programs provide primary HIV care, although medical staff at each conduct annual physical examinations, perform urinalysis and blood counts, and skin test for tuberculosis.’
    • ‘The three-year deal for about US $9 million cannot be finalized until he passes a physical.’
    • ‘A healthy child from an area of high endemicity receives an annual physical.’
    • ‘Recently, Shari had a physical which including ultrasonic testing of her abdomen to determine the cause of pain.’
    • ‘On the floor, someone had dropped a gown like the kind you wore for a physical.’
    • ‘He tried to join the Navy, but failed the physical.’
    • ‘This time it wouldn't be a full physical, but a good thorough scan should alert the physician to any illness.’
    • ‘Instead of the usual physical involving an array of tests by specialists, the exams were conducted in two phases.’
    • ‘Planning to treat yourself to a complete physical for the New Year?’
    • ‘The nurse practitioners obtained patients' medical histories and did physical examinations preoperatively, ordered laboratory tests, and taught patients about what to expect.’
    • ‘It would have been for naught, alas, as later in the day Wright passed a second physical done by Dr. Jim Andrews.’
    • ‘The 49ers have the option of voiding the trade because Whiting failed a physical.’
  • 2Stock Market
    physicalsStocks held in actual commodities for immediate exchange, for example as opposed to futures:

    ‘the exchange of futures for physicals’
    • ‘It gives great advice on how one can profit from silver via physicals, futures and stocks.’
    • ‘In addition to the over-the-counter trading in physicals, there has been a huge increase in exchange-traded financial contracts.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘relating to medicine’): from medieval Latin physicalis, from Latin physica things relating to nature (see physic). Sense 2 dates from the late 16th century and sense 1 from the late 18th century.

Pronunciation:

physical

/ˈfɪzɪk(ə)l/