Definition of topical in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtäpək(ə)l/


1(Of a subject) of immediate relevance, interest, or importance owing to its relation to current events: a wide variety of subjects of topical interest
More example sentences
  • It deals with a very topical subject, Anglo-American relations, set at a time during the American War of Independence.
  • The flagship daily news and current affairs programme Kildare Today will deal with topical issues and provide a forum for listeners to air their views.
  • School can help prepare children for this adult world, by encouraging them to discuss social and political affairs, and introducing topical issues during lessons.
current, up-to-date, up-to-the-minute, contemporary, recent, relevant;
newsworthy, in the news, bloggable;
1.1Relating to a particular subject; classified according to subject: annotated links to resources in eleven topical categories
More example sentences
  • A table at the end of the book also classifies documents into a number of topical categories.
  • Or you can invent topical categories - love letters, crank letters, letters to the editor.
  • Each of the larger sections is divided into several topical categories.
1.2 Philately Relating to the collecting of postage stamps with designs connected with the same subject.
2chiefly Medicine Relating or applied directly to a part of the body.
Example sentences
  • A physician had prescribed a topical steroid cream for this eruption three months ago with initial improvement in the rash.
  • Intralesional bleomycin, topical immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and pulsed dye laser treatment are best confined to research centres or resistant cases.
  • If 50 percent or more of the scalp is involved, treatment options include topical immunotherapy, systemic steroids or phototherapy.


A postage stamp forming part of a set or collection with designs connected with the same subject.



Pronunciation: /ˌtäpəˈkalədē/
Example sentences
  • The decision about which books to buy, the court said, is necessarily a selective decision, in which only a small fraction of all possible books are chosen (based on quality, topicality, accuracy, and so on).
  • It still fulfills that role, but the show, with its mix of humour, topicality, and semi-reality, has also evolved into a self-referential soap opera about the channel itself, not to mention required viewing for many Trinidadians.
  • Given the topicality of these issues, it would be fascinating to be a cyberfly on a high-tech wall 100 years from now, and to see the reaction to this ‘historical archive’ if it were to be repeated on a Sunday morning for a new generation.


Pronunciation: /ˈtäpək(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • In keeping with their attitudes about copying, I will now lift from their web site a topically amusing story.
  • So I guess what I'm trying to say is I do have a voice, but I'm using it to talk topically about war games rather than pretend I have any impartial thought on the matter.
  • The Casino Avenue Crackpot Idea Of The Year Award has a new front-runner - and, topically, it comes from an MP.


Late 16th century: from Greek topikos + -al. Early use was as a term in logic and rhetoric describing a rule or argument as 'applicable in most but not all cases'.

Words that rhyme with topical

misanthropical, semi-tropical, subtropical, tropical

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: top·i·cal

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