When some information or news is current and of immediate interest, we say it is topical. This might be a news story or a bit of gossip, or just a subject that is of current importance. If it's "now," it's topical.

There are several meanings of the word topical, but one clue can help you remember them all: that inside word "top." You often hear newscasters refer to the "top" stories of the day—they’re current, and that makes them topical. That same little word "top" can help you remember the medical meaning of topical: pertaining to the surface of the skin. A cream applied to the "top" of your skin is a topical medication. Remember that clue, and you'll be "tops" too.

Definitions of topical
  1. adjective
    pertaining to the surface of a body part
    “a drug for topical (or local) application”
    “a topical anesthesia”
    affecting only a restricted part or area of the body
  2. adjective
    of interest at the present time
    “a topical reference”
    “a topical and timely study of civil liberty”
    occurring in or belonging to the present time
  3. adjective
    of or relating to or arranged by topics
    “a detailed record on both a chronological and a topical basis”
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘topical'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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