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

beginner's luck

unexpected success experienced by a person who is just starting a particular activity

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More