(prak′tik lē, -ti kə lē)
- in a practical manner
- from a practical viewpoint
- for all practical purposes; in effect; virtually: practically a dictator
- Informal almost; nearly
See practically in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Usage Note: Practically
- In a way that is practical.
- For all practical purposes; virtually.
- All but; nearly; almost.
has as its primary sense “in a way that is practical”: We planned the room practically so we can use it as a study as well as a den.
The word has an extended meaning of “for all practical purposes,” as in After the accident, the car was practically undrivable.
That is, the car can still be driven; it is just no longer practical to do so. Language critics sometimes object when the notion of practicality is stripped from this word in its further extension to mean “all but, nearly,” as in He had practically finished his meal when I arrived.
But this usage is widely used by reputable writers and must be considered acceptable.
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