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

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More