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Line breaks: clin|ic¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈklɪnɪk(ə)l

Definition of clinical in English:


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
More example sentences
  • 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.
2Very efficient and without feeling; coldly detached: nothing was left to chance—everything was clinical
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, non-emotional, unsentimental;
scientific, analytic, rational, logical, hard-headed, sober, businesslike
2.1(Of a room or building) bare, functional, and clean: the room was white and clinical
More 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, unornamented, unembellished, stark, austere, severe, spartan, ascetic, monastic, bleak, bare, chaste, cheerless;
functional, basic, institutional, impersonal, characterless, soulless, colourless, antiseptic
informal no frills


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



[as submodifier]: a clinically clean kitchen
More example sentences
  • Her clinically clean kitchen design is curiously devoid of atmosphere as the hub of the 1870s Brixton boarding house, run by a mother and daughter.
  • I groaned, and woke up to see a clinically clean ceiling, and a kindly looking large Italian lady hovering over me.
  • He hugged Hayden good bye and Mr. Johnson waved to him as they left the clinically white kitchen and headed for the front door.

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