Definition of physically in US English:



  • 1In a manner relating to the body as opposed to the mind.

    ‘physically demanding work’
    ‘I found her physically attractive’
    • ‘His transformation is startling, both emotionally and physically.’
    • ‘He is physically and financially depleted and at the mercy of health officials who treat him like a criminal.’
    • ‘There's nothing physically wrong with him.’
    • ‘This was an extremely awkward time in her life, both physically and as an actress.’
    • ‘He delivers a perfectly understated and physically nuanced performance as the 'other man' in the love triangle.’
    • ‘The dingo physically resembles the pariah dog of India.’
    • ‘Their purpose may be better read as a contrast to the guests, both physically in terms of dress and appearance, and socially, in terms of education and decorum.’
    • ‘The wealthy, physically buff, and orphaned British aristocrat lives for high adventure, scouring the globe for lost tombs and forgotten treasures.’
    • ‘In his sickest film, a group of teenagers exploit and abuse the physically dysfunctional.’
    • ‘This overwhelming aesthetic anxiety in our culture may send people who are seen as physically different into an inferior role in society.’
    1. 1.1 In a way that involves bodily contact or activity.
      ‘he physically assaulted a colleague’
      • ‘She was abandoned by her mother at birth and physically abused by her grandfather.’
      • ‘Elders suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive impairments can sometimes physically strike out at a worker.’
      • ‘The next thing she remembers, her teenage son appeared at the door, physically pried her away, and helped her home.’
      • ‘I'd aim to complete eight reps on my own, which meant pushing until I physically could not budge the weight another inch.’
      • ‘Historically, when seekers could not physically go on such journeys, there were simulated pilgrimages close to home.’
      • ‘He solves the murder and liberates the suspect by physically catching the villain.’
      • ‘He was physically beaten for refusing to follow orders.’
      • ‘The monks were inhumanly strong and physically unstoppable.’
      • ‘You can only participate in this collective act by physically standing in the exact place others have stood.’
      • ‘The person isn't constrained by what he can physically carry.’
  • 2In a way that relates to the real world and things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind.

    ‘cyberspace is a virtual place; it does not physically exist’
    • ‘The federal government is going to build 50 exchanges, using a data hub that doesn't exist physically.’
    • ‘What is the difference between what exists physically and what is experienced mentally, and how is this difference known and accounted for?’
    • ‘What you describe is an isotropic antenna, which exists only in theory and cannot exist physically.’
    • ‘This is a translation of the idea, the creation of a metaphor for something that does not exist physically.’
    • ‘The coin doesn't exist physically—it is a virtual currency that exists only as a computer file.’
    • ‘Those statements that refer to the physically real do not founder on any univocal coordinate transformation.’
    • ‘An object has no meaning unless we can prove that it once existed physically.’
    • ‘It does not matter whether those stars physically exist or not.’
    • ‘How could we exist physically in the mind of God?’
    • ‘If you take Alfred away from Bruce Wayne, Batman still exists physically but not mentally.’
    1. 2.1 In terms of what is possible in the real world.
      ‘it is physically impossible to check every car’
      • ‘The reproducibility of land was physically improbable and entailed prohibitively high marginal costs in all but exceptional circumstances.’
      • ‘Is it possible physically to be handcuffed behind your back and somehow pull the trigger on a gun you weren't holding when you were handcuffed?’
      • ‘The dancer who jumps highest, turns fastest, or splits legs into the most physically improbable position is the best.’
      • ‘In his peer review, he considered that this process was physically unlikely in dewatered shales.’
      • ‘This would push the limits of what is possible physically, technically, and operationally.’
      • ‘A physically unlikely but formally rational connection can be made, joining an assembly of body parts into a single image.’
      • ‘The students are charged with ascertaining whether a particular legend is even medically or physically possible.’
      • ‘Apparently, some people do a lot of research into whether or not some of the things they try to do are physically possible.’
      • ‘He said such mind-over-matter theories have nothing to do with why fire-walking is physically possible.’
      • ‘The perpetual use of opiates is almost impossible physically.’