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early 15c., "of or pertaining to material nature" (in medicine, opposed to surgical), from Medieval Latin physicalis "of nature, natural," from Latin physica "study of nature" (see physic). Meaning "pertaining to matter" is from 1590s; meaning "having to do with the body, corporeal" is attested from 1780. Meaning "characterized by bodily attributes or activities" is attested from 1970. Physical education first recorded 1838; abbreviated form phys ed is from 1955. Physical therapy is from 1922. Related: Physically.
"a physical examination," by 1934, from physical (adj.).
physical phys·i·cal (fĭz'ĭ-kəl)
Of or relating to the body as distinguished from the mind or spirit.
Involving or characterized by vigorous bodily activity.
Of or relating to material things.
Of or relating to matter and energy or the sciences dealing with them, especially physics.
Using the body, esp roughly or intimately: Vanderbilt is a lot better than last year and more physical (1970+)Related Terms
The opposite of logical in its jargon sense. Compare real, virtual, and transparent.
It is said that what you can touch and see is real; what you can see but not touch is virtual; what you can touch but not see is transparent; and what you can neither touch nor see is probably imaginary.