Definition of practically adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpræktɪkli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpræktɪkli//
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  1. 1  almost; very nearly synonym virtually The theatre was practically empty. I meet famous people practically every day. My essay is practically finished now. With that crack in it, the vase is worth practically nothing. There's practically no difference between the two options. Which Word?almost / nearly / practicallyThese three words have similar meanings and are used frequently with the following words: almost certainly/​all/​every/​entirely/​impossible/​empty nearly (numbers)/all/​always/​every/​finished/​died practically all/​every/​no/​nothing/​impossible/​anything They are used in positive sentences:She almost/​nearly/​practically missed her train. They can be used before words like all, every and everybody:Nearly all the students have bikes. I’ve got practically every CD they’ve made. Practically is used more in spoken than in written English. Nearly is the most common with numbers:There were nearly 200 people at the meeting. They can also be used in negative sentences but it is more common to make a positive sentence with only just:We only just got there in time. (or:We almost/​nearly didn’t get there in time.) Almost and practically can be used before words like any, anybody, anything, etc:I’ll eat almost anything. You can also use them before no, nobody, never, etc. but it is much more common to use hardly or scarcely with any, anybody, ever, etc:She’s hardly ever in (or:She’s almost never in). Almost can be used when you are saying that one thing is similar to another:The boat looked almost like a toy. In British English you can use very and so before nearly:He was very nearly caught.
  2. 2  in a realistic or sensible way; in real situations Practically speaking, we can't afford it. It sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it will work practically. compare theoretically
  3. Extra examples She practically accused me of starting the fire! There’s practically no difference between the two options. There’s virtually/​practically no money left. This drug was virtually/​practically unknown in Britain.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: practically