Definition of clinical in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈklinək(ə)l/


1Relating to the observation and treatment of actual patients rather than theoretical or laboratory studies: clinical medicine clinical drug trials
More example sentences
  • In this study we describe the clinical and laboratory features of the patients with and without mycobacteraemia.
  • Most patients in clinical trials had osteolytic bone metastases on imaging studies.
  • The study, involving clinical trials on Christie patients, will cost around £40,000.
1.1(Of a disease or condition) causing observable and recognizable symptoms: clinical depression
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  • These trials compared SSRIs with placebo in adults with depression and other clinical conditions.
  • Sahn and Hefner recently reviewed the clinical condition of spontaneous pneumothorax.
  • Aspirin induced asthma is a distinct clinical syndrome affecting some asthmatic patients.
2Efficient and unemotional; coldly detached: the clinical detail of a textbook
More example sentences
  • Behavioural research derives its authority from notions of scientific rigour and clinical detachment.
  • I want it to be efficient, clinical, impartial and polite.
  • Some have accused her of coldness, of clinical detachment.
detached, impersonal, dispassionate, objective, uninvolved, distant, remote, aloof, removed, cold, indifferent, neutral, unsympathetic, unfeeling, unemotional
2.1(Of a room or building) bare, functional, and clean.
Example sentences
  • We can offer you clinical facilities at the JFK Hospital to begin with, and we will ask to use your expertise to help us equip whatever surgical room you will need.
  • The hospitals were commended for their good signposting, bright and uncluttered corridors and clinical areas with helpful and organised support staff.
  • A museum is necessarily clinical, and as a professor of history I can walk through it with the detachment and assurance of a doctor.
plain, simple, unadorned, unembellished, stark, austere, spartan, bleak, bare;
functional, utilitarian, basic, institutional, impersonal, characterless


Late 18th century: from Greek klinikē 'bedside' (see clinic) + -al.

Words that rhyme with clinical

cynical, dominical, finical, Jacobinical, pinnacle, rabbinical

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clin·i·cal

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