1. Of, relating to, governed by, or acquired through practice or action, rather than theory or speculation: gained practical experience of sailing as a deck hand.
2. Manifested in or involving practice: practical applications of calculus.
3. Capable of or suitable to being used or put into effect; useful: practical knowledge of Japanese. See Usage Note at practicable.
4. Concerned with the production or operation of something useful: Woodworking is a practical art.
5. Having or showing good judgment; sensible: If we're practical, we can do the job quickly.
6. Being actually so in almost every respect; virtual: The snowstorm was a practical disaster.
[Middle English practicale, from Medieval Latin prācticālis, from prāctica, practice; see PRACTICABLE.]
prac′ti·cali·ty (-kălĭ-tē), practi·cal·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.