American English

Definition of physical adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    the body
  1. 1[usually before noun] connected with a person's body rather than their mind physical fitness physical appearance The ordeal has affected both her mental and physical health. He tends to avoid all physical contact. The center offers activities for everyone, whatever your age or physical condition.
  2. real things
  3. 2[only before noun] connected with things that actually exist or are present and can be seen, felt, etc. rather than things that only exist in a person's mind the physical world/universe/environment the physical properties (= the color, weight, shape, etc.) of copper She was intimidated by his physical presence. Is there any physical evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed?
  4. nature/science
  5. 3[only before noun] according to the laws of nature It is a physical impossibility to be in two places at once. There does not seem to be any physical explanation for what they saw.
  6. 4[only before noun] connected with the scientific study of forces such as heat, light, sound, etc. and how they affect objects physical laws
  7. sex
  8. 5involving sex physical love They are having a physical relationship. The attraction between them is purely physical.
  9. person
  10. 6(informal) (of a person) liking to touch other people a lot She's not very physical.
  11. violent
  12. 7(informal) violent (used to avoid saying this in a direct way) Are you going to cooperate or do we have to get physical?
  13. Topic CollocationsPhysical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesface a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy beard a full/thin goatee a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/small/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/center partbody a long/short/thick/slender/ (disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/round/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/ (informal) (often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/ (informal) (disapproving) flabby thighs/calves big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/slim/slender/hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: physical