a. Of or relating to the body. See Synonyms at bodily.
b. Having a physiological basis or origin: a physical craving for an addictive drug.
c. Involving sexual interest or activity: a physical attraction; physical intimacy.
a. Involving or characterized by vigorous or forceful bodily activity: physical aggression; a fast and physical dance performance.
b. Slang Involving or characterized by violence: "A real cop would get physical" (TV Guide).
3. Of or relating to material things: a wall that formed a physical barrier; the physical environment.
4. Of or relating to matter and energy or the sciences dealing with them, especially physics.
A physical examination.
[Middle English phisical, medical, from Medieval Latin physicālis, from Latin physica, physics; see PHYSICS.]
phys′i·cali·ty (-kălĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.