Mechanical vs Physical - What's the difference?

mechanical | physical |

As adjectives the difference between mechanical and physical

is that mechanical is characteristic of someone who does manual labour for a living; coarse, vulgar while physical is having to do with the body.

As a noun physical is

physical examination.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




(en adjective)
  • Characteristic of someone who does manual labour for a living; coarse, vulgar.
  • *, I.43:
  • all manner of silks were already become so vile and abject, that was any man seene to weare them, he was presently judged to be some countrie fellow, or mechanicall man.
  • Related to mechanics (the branch of physics that deals with forces acting on mass).
  • Related to mechanics (the design and construction of machines).
  • Done by machine.
  • Using mechanics (the design and construction of machines): being a machine.
  • As if performed by a machine: lifeless or mindless.
  • (of a person) Acting as if one were a machine: lifeless or mindless.
  • *, chapter=15
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=Edward Churchill still attended to his work in a hopeless mechanical manner like a sleep-walker who walks safely on a well-known round. But his Roman collar galled him, his cossack stifled him, his biretta was as uncomfortable as a merry-andrew's cap and bells.}}
  • (informal) Handy with machines.
  • Derived terms

    * electromechanical * mechanical erasure * mechanicality * mechanically * mechanicalness * mechanical pencil * postmechanical * premechanical



    (en adjective)
  • Having to do with the body.
  • Having to do with the material world.
  • * John Stuart Mill
  • Labour, in the physical world, is employed in putting objects in motion.
  • * Macaulay
  • A society sunk in ignorance, and ruled by mere physical force.
  • * {{quote-magazine, title=No hiding place
  • , date=2013-05-25, volume=407, issue=8837, page=74, magazine=(The Economist) citation , passage=In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.}}
  • Involving bodily force.
  • Having to do with physics.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-01, author=Michael Riordan, title=Tackling Infinity
  • , volume=100, issue=1, page=86, magazine=(American Scientist) citation , passage=Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the theories.}}
  • (label)
  • (obsolete) Relating to physic, or medicine; medicinal; curative; also, cathartic; purgative.
  • * Sir T. North
  • Physical herbs.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Is Brutus sick? and is it physical / To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours / Of the dank morning?


    * mental, psychological; having to do with the mind viewed as distinct from body.

    Derived terms

    * antiphysical * physical body * physical chemistry * physical education * physical examination * physical relations * physical therapy * physical world


    (en noun)
  • Physical examination.
  • How long has it been since your last physical ?


    * checkup, check-up