practical

A stapler is a practical object — it has a use. A hand-crocheted stapler cozy designed to keep a stapler warm at night? Not practical at all.

The word practice, in the sense of "doing," is embedded in the word practical, which is all about "doing." "Is it practical?" means, is it good to do this? Does it have a use? Will it work? Silk shoes in a rainstorm? They're just not practical. A London Fog raincoat? Definitely practical.

Definitions of practical
  1. adjective
    guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory
    “completely practical in his approach to business”
    synonyms: hard-nosed, hardheaded, pragmatic
    realistic
    aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
  2. adjective
    concerned with actual use or practice
    “he is a very practical person”
    “the idea had no practical application”
    “a practical knowledge of Japanese”
    “woodworking is a practical art”
    Synonyms:
    concrete
    capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
    possible
    capable of happening or existing
    applicative, applicatory
    readily applicable or practical
    functional
    designed for or adapted to a function or use
    interoperable
    able to exchange and use information
    matter-of-fact, pragmatic, pragmatical
    concerned with practical matters
    operable, practicable
    usable for a specific purpose
    serviceable
    intended or able to serve a purpose without elaboration
    unimaginative
    dealing only with concrete facts
    working
    adequate for practical use; especially sufficient in strength or numbers to accomplish something
    realistic
    aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
    serviceable
    ready for service or able to give long service
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    impractical
    not practical; not workable or not given to practical matters
    impossible
    not capable of occurring or being accomplished or dealt with
    crazy, half-baked, screwball, softheaded
    foolish; totally unsound
    meshuga, meshugga, meshugge, meshuggeneh, meshuggener
    senseless; crazy
    quixotic, romantic, wild-eyed
    not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic
    unfunctional
    not related to or suitable for everyday needs or activities
    unwieldy
    difficult to work or manipulate
    unrealistic
    not realistic
    show more antonyms...
  3. adjective
    having or put to a practical purpose or use
    practical mathematics”
    practical applications of calculus”
    Synonyms:
    applied
    concerned with concrete problems or data rather than with fundamental principles
  4. adjective
    being actually such in almost every respect
    “a practical failure”
    synonyms: virtual
    realistic
    aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
Commonly confused words

practical / practicable

Choosing between practical ("sensible") and practicable ("possible") often depends on context.

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