Dictionary: PHYS'IC – PHY-TOCH'I-MY

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PHYS'IC, v.t.

  1. To treat with physic; to evacuate the bowels with a cathartic; to purge. – Shak.
  2. To cure. – Shak.


  1. Pertaining to nature or natural productions, or to material things, as opposed to things moral or imaginary. We speak of physical force or power, with reference to material things; as, muscular strength is physical force; armies and navies are the physical force of a nation; whereas wisdom, knowledge, skill, &c., constitute moral force. A physical point is a real point, in distinction from a mathematical or imaginary point. A physical body or substance is a material body or substance, in distinction from spirit or metaphysical substance.
  2. External; perceptible to the senses; as, the physical characters of a mineral; opposed to chimical. Phillips.
  3. Relating to the art of healing; as, a physical treatise.
  4. Having the property of evacuating the bowels; as, physical herbs.
  5. Medicinal; promoting the cure of diseases.
  6. Resembling physic; as, a physical taste. – Johnson. [In the three latter senses, nearly obsolete among professional men.] Physical education, the education which is directed to the object of giving strength, health and vigor to the bodily organs and powers.


  1. According to nature; by natural power or the operation of natural laws in the material system of things, as distinguished from moral power or influence. We suppose perpetual motion to be physically impossible. I am not now treating physically of light or colors. – Locke.
  2. According to the art or rules of medicine. [Obs.] He that lives physically, must live miserably. – Cheyne.


  1. A person skilled in the art of healing; one whose profession is to prescribe remedies for diseases.
  2. In a spiritual sense, one that heals moral diseases; as, a physician of the soul.


Logic illustrated by natural philosophy.


Pertaining to physico-logic. [Little used.] – Swift.

PHYS-I-CO-THE-OL'O-GY, n. [physic or physical and theology.]

Theology or divinity illustrated or enforced by physics or natural philosophy.

PHYS'ICS, n. [s as z.]

  1. In its most extensive sense, the science of nature or of natural objects, comprehending the study or knowledge of whatever exists.
  2. In the usual and more limited sense, the science of the material system, including natural history and philosophy. This science is of vast extent, comprehending whatever can be discovered of the nature and properties of bodies, their causes, effects, affections, operations, phenomena and laws.


PHYS-I-OG-NOM'IC, or PHYS-I-OG-NOM'IC-AL, a. [s as z. See Physiognomy.]

Pertaining to physiognomy; expressing the temper, disposition or other qualities of the mind by signs in the countenance; or drawing a knowledge of the state of the mind from the features of the face.


Among physicians, signs in the countenance which indicate the state, temperament or constitution of the body and mind. – Encyc.


One that is skilled in physiognomy; one that is able to judge of the particular temper or other qualities of the mind, by signs in the countenance. – Dryden.

PHYS-I-OG'NOM-Y, n. [Gr. φυσιογνωμια; φυσις, nature, and γνωμονικος, knowing; γινωσκω, to know.]

  1. The art or science of discerning the character of the mind from the features of the face; or the art of discovering the predominant temper or other characteristic qualities of the mind by the form of the body, but especially by the external signs of the countenance, or the combination of the features. – Bacon. Lavater.
  2. The face or countenance, with respect to the temper of the mind; particular configuration, cast or expression of countenance. – Dryden. [This word formerly comprehended the art of foretelling the future fortunes of persons by indications of the countenance.]


Pertaining to physiography.

PHYS-I-OG'RAPH-Y, n. [Gr. φυσις, nature, and γραφω, to describe.]

A description of nature, or the science of natural objects. – Journ. of Science.


A physiologist. [The latter is generally used.]

PHYS-I-O-LOG'IC, or PHYS-I-O-LOG'IC-AL, a. [See Physiology.]

Pertaining to physiology; relating to the science of the properties and functions of living beings.


According to the principles of physiology. – Lawrence's Lect.


  1. One who is versed in the science of living beings, or in the properties and functions of animals and plants.
  2. One that treats of physiology.

PHYS-I-OL'O-GY, n. [Gr. φυσιολογια; φυσις, nature, and λεγω, to discourse.]

  1. According to the Greek, this word signifies a discourse or treatise of nature, but the moderns use the word in a more limited sense, for the science of the functions of all the different parts or organs of animals and plants, or, in other words, the offices which they perform in the economy of the individual.
  2. The science of the mind, of its various phenomena, affections and powers. – Brown.

PHYS'NO-MY, n. [for Physiognomy, is not used.]

PHYS'O-GRADE, n. [Gr. φυσις and L. gradior.]

One of a tribe of zoophytes, which swim by means of air-bladders.

PHY'SY, n. [for Fusee.]

[Not used.] – Locke.

PHY-TIV'O-ROUS, a. [Gr. φυτον, a plant, and L. voro, to eat.]

Feeding on plants or herbage; as, phytivorous animals. – Ray.


The chimistry of plants.