Also found in: Medical.


suffix forming adjectives
a variant of -ic: economical; fanatical.
[from Latin -icālis]
-ically suffix forming adverbs
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


1. a suffix forming adjectives from other parts of speech, occurring orig. in Greek and Latin loanwords (metallic; poetic; archaic; public) and, on this model, used as an adjective-forming suffix with the particular senses “having some characteristics of” (opposed to the simple attributive use of the base noun) (balletic; sophomoric); “in the style of” (Byronic; Miltonic); “pertaining to a family of peoples or languages” (Finnic; Semitic; Turkic).
2. a suffix, specialized in opposition to -ous, used to show the higher of two valences: ferric chloride.
3. a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where such words were orig. adjectival (critic; magic; music).
[Middle English -ic, -ik < Latin -icus or Greek -ikos]


1. immediate constituent.
2. integrated circuit.
3. intensive care.


Jesus Christ.
[< Late Latin I(ēsus)C(hrīstus)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As far as adjectives ending in -ic and -ical are concerned (e.g.
As far as English is concerned, it has to be noted, however, that the analysed adjectives in -ive and -ory seem to be stylistically marked in comparison to the adjectives in -ic and -ical which seem to be stylistically neutral and have a wide range of use (cf.
My concern with -al, -ic, -ical usage began some time ago, was fortified through a series of conversations with my journalistic mentor Richard Miller, and has solidified following a great deal of thought, research, and further discourse with respected linguists.
The basic premise is that suffixes -al and -ic have distinct and distinguishable meanings, but that -ical is largely redundant.
Variation and change in the lexicon; a corpus-based analysis of adjectives in English ending in -ic and -ical.