practical Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “practical” in the English Dictionary

"practical" in British English

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practicaladjective

uk   us   /ˈpræk.tɪ.kəl/

practical adjective (EXPERIENCE)

B2 relating to ​experience, ​realsituations, or ​actionsrather than ​ideas or ​imagination: Qualifications are ​important but practical experience is always an ​plus. The ​serviceoffersyoungpeople practical advice on ​finding a ​job. What's the use of ​theoreticalknowledge that has no practical application?for all practical purposes in ​fact: Dr Frampton is in ​charge, but for all practical ​purposes, her ​assistantruns the ​office.
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practical adjective (SUITABLE)

C1 suitable for the ​situation in which something is used: I ​tend to ​wearclothes that are practical ​rather than ​fashionable. Heavy ​boots aren't very practical for ​running.
Opposite

practical adjective (EFFECTIVE)

C2 approving able to ​provideeffectivesolutions to ​problems: She has ​lots of ​interestingideas, but they're not very practical. We need someone practical who can ​cope with a ​crisis.
Opposite

practical adjective (POSSIBLE)

C1 able to be done or put into ​action: [+ to infinitive] It's ​simply not practical todivide the ​work between so many ​people.
Opposite

practicalnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈpræk.tɪ.kəl/
a ​class or ​exam in a ​scientific or ​technicalsubject in which ​students do things ​rather than just write or ​talk about them: We had to ​dissect a ​worm and a ​frog in ​ourbiology practical today.
(Definition of practical from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"practical" in American English

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practicaladjective

 us   /ˈpræk·tɪ·kəl/

practical adjective (ACTUAL/REAL)

relating to ​actualexperience or to the use of ​knowledge in ​activitiesrather than to ​knowledge only or ​ideas: I ​know you’ve been ​trained as a ​teacher, but do you have any practical ​teachingexperience? If you say that a ​person is practical, you ​mean the ​personbehaves 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 ​saveyourmoney.

practical adjective (EFFECTIVE)

fitting the ​needs of a ​particularsituation 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 ​subwaysoperating all ​night because there aren’t enough ​passengers. When used of ​objects such as ​clothes, practical can ​meandirected only to the ​goal of doing ​theirintendedwork, and often ​plain in ​style or ​character: I ​wearclothes that are practical ​rather than ​fashionable.
(Definition of practical from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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