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[sur-ji-kuh l] /ˈsɜr dʒɪ kəl/
pertaining to or involving surgery or surgeons.
used in surgery.
characterized by extreme precision or incisiveness:
a surgical air strike against enemy targets.
Origin of surgical
1760-70; surg(eon) + -ical
Related forms
surgically, adverb
nonsurgical, adjective
nonsurgically, adverb
postsurgical, adjective
presurgical, adjective
prosurgical, adjective
unsurgical, adjective
unsurgically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for surgical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was a little surprised at the matter-of-fact way in which the men all accepted women doctors, and surgical operations by women.

    The Flaming Sword in Serbia and Elsewhere Mabel Annie Boulton Stobart
  • In the corridor to the surgical ward they came upon John Storm.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • You visit the operating room with its fullest set of surgical appliances.

    With the Battle Fleet Franklin Matthews
  • This is a surgical dressing which has been so treated that it is free from germs.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • I used it at first for experimenting upon the amputation of limbs and other surgical operations.

    Strange Stories Grant Allen
British Dictionary definitions for surgical


of, relating to, involving, or used in surgery
(of an action) performed with extreme precision: a surgical air attack on the missile complex
Derived Forms
surgically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surgical

1770, alteration of chirurgical; see surgery + -ical. Related: Surgically.

surgical strike: There is no such thing. Don't use unless in a quote, then question what that means. [Isaac Cubillos, "Military Reporters Stylebook and Reference Guide," 2010]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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surgical in Medicine

surgical sur·gi·cal (sûr'jĭ-kəl)

  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of surgeons or surgery.

  2. Used in surgery.

  3. Resulting from or occurring after surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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