Radical meaning

răd'ĭ-kəl
Radical is someone who goes against social norms and who often advocates social change.

An example of a radical was a hippie in the 1960's.

noun
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The definition of radical is something that is at the root of something, or something that changes, addresses or affects the major essence of something.

An example of radical is a basic solution to a complex problem.

An example of radical is the change that allowed women to vote.

adjective
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Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme or drastic.

A radical change in diet.

adjective
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Relating to or advocating fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions.

Radical politics; a radical political theorist.

adjective
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Relating to or being surgery that is extreme or drastic in an effort to eradicate all existing or potential disease.

Radical hysterectomy.

adjective
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Of or being a root.

A radical form.

adjective
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A group of two or more atoms that acts as a single atom and goes through a reaction unchanged, or is replaced by a single atom: it is normally incapable of separate existence.
noun
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Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme or drastic.

A radical change in diet.

adjective
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Arising from or going to a root or source; basic.

Proposed a radical solution to the problem.

adjective
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Excellent; wonderful.
adjective
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One who advocates fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions.

Radicals seeking to overthrow the social order.

noun
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The root of a quantity as indicated by the radical sign.
noun
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An atom or a group of atoms with one unpaired electron.
noun
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Of or coming from the root.
adjective
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Having to do with the root or roots of a number or quantity.
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Relating to or being surgery that is extreme or drastic in an effort to eradicate all existing or potential disease.

Radical hysterectomy.

adjective
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A root, such as √2, especially as indicated by a radical sign (√).
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A group of atoms that behaves as a unit in chemical reactions and is often not stable except as part of a molecule. The hydroxyl, ethyl, and phenyl radicals are examples. Radicals are unchanged by chemical reactions.
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Favoring fundamental change, or change at the root cause of a matter.

His beliefs are radical.

adjective
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(botany, not comparable) Pertaining to a root (of a plant).
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Pertaining to the basic or intrinsic nature of something.
adjective
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The spread of the cancer required radical surgery, and the entire organ was removed.

adjective
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(linguistics, not comparable) Of or pertaining to the root of a word.
adjective
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(linguistics, not comparable, of a sound) Produced using the root of the tongue.
adjective
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(chemistry, not comparable) Involving free radicals.
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(mathematics) Relating to a radix or mathematical root.

A radical quantity; a radical sign.

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(slang, 1990s) Excellent; awesome.

That was a radical jump!

adjective
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(historical: 19th-century England) A member of the most progressive wing of the Liberal Party; someone favouring social reform (but generally stopping short of socialism).
noun
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(historical: early 20th-century France) A member of an influential, centrist political party favouring moderate social reform, a republican constitution, and secular politics.
noun
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A person with radical opinions.
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(arithmetic) A root (of a number or quantity).
noun
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(linguistics) In logographic writing systems as the Chinese writing system, the portion of a character (if any) that provides an indication of its meaning, as opposed to phonetic.
noun
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(linguistics) In Semitic languages, any one of the set of consonants (typically three) that make up a root.
noun
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(chemistry) A group of atoms, joined by covalent bonds, that take part in reactions as a single unit.
noun
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(organic chemistry) A free radical.
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Origin of radical

  • Middle English of a root from Late Latin rādīcālis having roots from Latin rādīx rādīc- root wrād- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From French radical, from Late Latin radicalis (“of or pertaining to the root, having roots, radical"), from Latin radix (“root"); see radix.
    From Wiktionary