Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “practical”

See all translations

practical

adjective  /ˈpræk·tɪ·kəl/ us  

practical adjective (ACTUAL/REAL)

relating to actual experience or to the use of knowledge in activities rather than to knowledge only or ideas: I know you’ve been trained as a teacher, but do you have any practical teaching experience? If you say that a person is practical, you mean the person behaves in ways that relate more to the realities of the world than to ideas or desires: You’ve got to learn to be practical and save your money.

practical adjective (EFFECTIVE)

fitting the needs of a particular situation in a helpful way; helping to solve a problem or difficulty; effective or suitable: We didn’t want to spend the night at a motel, but it just wasn’t practical to do the trip in one day. In some cities, it isn’t practical to keep the subways operating all night because there aren’t enough passengers. When used of objects such as clothes, practical can mean directed only to the goal of doing their intended work, and often plain in style or character: I wear clothes that are practical rather than fashionable.
(Definition of practical from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of practical?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “practical”

Definitions of “practical” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

thug

a man who acts violently, especially to commit a crime

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More