Definition of "radical" []

  • Arising from or going to a root or source; basic: proposed a radical solution to the problem. (adjective)
  • Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme: radical opinions on education. (adjective)
  • Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radical political views. (adjective)
  • Linguistics Of or being a root: a radical form. (adjective)
  • Botany Arising from the root or its crown: radical leaves. (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of the basic or inherent constitution of a person or thing; fundamental (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Concerned with or tending to concentrate on fundamental aspects of a matter; searching or thoroughgoing (adjective)
  • Favouring or tending to produce extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic, or social conditions, institutions, habits of mind, etc (adjective)
  • (of treatment) aimed at removing the source of a disease (adjective)
  • Very good; excellent (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or arising from the root or the base of the stem of a plant (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or containing roots of numbers or quantities (adjective)
  • Of or relating to the root of a word (adjective)
  • A person who favours extreme or fundamental change in existing institutions or in political, social, or economic conditions (noun)
  • A root of a number or quantity, such as 3√5, √x (noun)
  • (in logographic writing systems such as that used for Chinese) a part of a character conveying lexical meaning (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "radical" in a sentence
  • "Pitch must be considered under three heads: first, as referring to the prevailing elevation of tone assumed by the voice in the reading of a whole sentence, passage, or selection, called _general_ or _sentential pitch_; second, as referring to the degree of elevation assumed by the voice in the utterance of the opening, or radical, of any syllable, called _initial_ or _radical pitch_; third, as referring to the tone-width of the intervals in the utterance of the syllable concrete."
  • "The word radical comes from the Latin word radis, which means roots."
  • "Obama administration, categorically refuse to even use the term "radical Islam" in order to excise the term from the American vernacular."