Definition of physical in English:


Line breaks: phys|ic¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪzɪk(ə)l


  • 3Relating to physics or the operation of natural forces generally: physical laws
    More example sentences
    • Certainly, before Newton, the very idea of physical law was at best a blur.
    • Feynman's work is filled with the sort of raw physical insight that physicists love and admire.
    • Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws.


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  • 1 (also physical examination) A medical examination to determine a person’s bodily fitness: at fifty-something, each year’s physical was a kind of lottery
    More example sentences
    • Planning to treat yourself to a complete physical for the New Year?
    • She loved going to the doctor's office and insisted on having a complete physical at every visit.
    • A healthy child from an area of high endemicity receives an annual physical.
  • 2 (physicals) Stock Exchange Stocks held in actual commodities for immediate exchange, for example as opposed to futures: the exchange of futures for physicals
    More example sentences
    • In addition to the over-the-counter trading in physicals, there has been a huge increase in exchange-traded financial contracts.
    • It gives great advice on how one can profit from silver via physicals, futures and stocks.


get physical

  • 1 informal Become aggressive or violent: now the players are even getting physical with the refs
    More example sentences
    • They fought over the controller for a good 20 minutes until their mom's had to separate them because they were getting physical.
    • In the first practice of their off-week, the Lions ran a spirited one-on-one passing drill with the cornerbacks getting physical at the line.
    • They even joked about what would happen if their competition got physical.
  • 2Become sexually intimate with someone: I had a strong feeling that, by the end of the day, she and I would get physical
    More example sentences
    • We also got physical very much earlier in the relationship than I wanted to.
    • Women, on the other hand, live in a ‘emotion’ or ‘love’ house, whereas getting physical is a room they have to have a reason to get up, walk over to, and enter.
    • Will you be all right if she gets physical with someone else?



Pronunciation: /-ˈkalɪti/
More example sentences
  • Why should this fixture produce so much passion, such physicality and - at times - such downright hate?
  • Concentration on physicality often means, frustratingly, that dialogue is stripped of emotion.
  • For all the strength required, Phillips exudes careful, finely wrought intelligence rather than physicality.


More example sentences
  • I actually wanted to physically go and smash down all the doors in the neighbouring houses.
  • It was such a thrill to do this, working closely and physically with people on something fun.
  • Tom also did not like visitors in the house, often being physically sick when people called.


More example sentences
  • ‘I've got to learn the speed of the game and have patience with that, also the physicalness of it,’ he said through an interpreter after Tuesday's practice.
  • We weren't used to the physicalness - pushing, shoving, holding - and them not calling anything.
  • The other enthralling thing about sport is the physicalness of it.


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.

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