(also physical examination) a medical examination of a person’s body, for example, to check that they are fit enough to do a particular job He was accepted onto the course after passing the physical. Pilots undergo routine physicals. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘relating to medicine’): from medieval Latin physicalis, from Latin physica
‘things relating to nature’, from Greek phusikē (epistēmē) ‘(knowledge) of nature’. Sense 2 dates from the late 16th cent. and sense 1 from the late 18th cent.