Meaning of “radical” in the English Dictionary

"radical" in British English

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radicaladjective

uk /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl/ us /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl/

radical adjective (SUPPORTING CHANGE)

C2 believing or expressing the belief that there should be great or extreme social or political change:

He was known as a radical reformer/thinker/politician.
These people have very radical views.

More examples

  • The feeling among the grassroots of the Party is that the leaders are not radical enough.
  • This is a desperate situation which requires a truly radical solution.
  • He belonged to the radical fringes of the party.
  • She described herself as a radical feminist.
  • He holds some radical opinions on the subject.

radical adjective (VERY IMPORTANT)

C1 relating to the most important parts of something or someone; complete or extreme:

We need to make some radical changes to our operating procedures.
I'm just having my hair trimmed - nothing radical.

More examples

  • The past few years have witnessed radical improvements to the system.
  • The company is undergoing a radical shake-up.
  • The new management will make radical changes.
  • I'm just having my hair trimmed - nothing radical.
  • In her essay, she characterizes the whole era as a period of radical change.
radically
adverb uk /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl.i/ us /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl.i/

C1

Barker introduced some radically new ideas.

radicalnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl/ us /ˈræd.ɪ.kəl/

(Definition of “radical” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"radical" in American English

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radicaladjective

us /ˈræd·ɪ·kəl/

radical adjective (SUPPORTING CHANGE)

believing or expressing the belief that there should be great or extreme social, economic, or political change:

White’s political orientation was decidedly liberal, but hardly radical.

radical adjective (EXTREME)

causing or being an example of great change; extreme:

During bad economic times, radical steps may be necessary to restore the confidence of the consumer.
radically
adverb us /ˈræd·ɪ·kli/

Her views are not radically different from my own.

radicalnoun [ C ]

us /ˈræd·ɪ·kəl/

radical noun [ C ] (SUPPORTING CHANGE)

(Definition of “radical” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)