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What Does Radical Mean?

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Matt Domm Profile
Matt Domm answered
‘Radical’ is a Latin word that means ‘having roots’. The word ‘radical’ can be used as a noun or an adjective. The following list is a diverse range of its use in the English language.
Adjectives:
1.       Going to or of the origin of root; fundamental
2.       Extreme or thoroughgoing (‘there were radical changes within the company’s policies’)
3.       Inherently existing in a thing or person (‘there were radical defects within his character’)
4.       Slang (cool; wonderful; great; marvellous; brilliant; awe-inspiring)
5.       Theme, stem, base, root word, root (linguistics): The form of a certain word after the affixes have been removed
6.       Ultra; radical; extremist (in actions and opinions), far beyond what is considered the norm (‘he had radical views about politics’)
7.       Revolutionary; introducing a radical change
8.       Going to or arising from the source or root (‘the plan had a radical flaw’)
9.       Basal (especially of a leaf)
10.   Very great or major (‘there were radical changes’)
Noun:
1.       Group of atoms; a residue; a compound radical; a chemical group
2.       A fundamental, essential and characteristic of a compound; therefore on occasion an atom
3.       A person who will advocate radical changes within social or government institutions and who is opposed to conservatism
4.       Primitive letter; letter belonging to a radix
5.       Primitive word; a root, a radix, or uncompounded, underived, simple word; etymon
6.       (Mathematics); a quantity that is expressed as a root of a separate quantity
7.       A person expressing radical opinions or ideas and favouring drastic social, economic or political reforms
Every day a dictionary editor will devote a couple of hours to reading newspapers, books, electronic publications or magazines to look for a new word, a new meaning of an existing word or even evidence of a variant spelling to decide if any word will belong in a dictionary. A person who loves words is called a logophile.
Aun Jafery Profile
Aun Jafery answered
The word radical can be used as an adjective or as a noun. Radical refers to going to or arising from the source or root. Radical refers to something as departing or shifting markedly from the customary or usual. It refers to something or someone as effecting or favouring revolutionary changes in the practices prevailing currently. It is also seen used in other fields, like linguistics where it refers to something being or of a root. In mathematics it refers to the root of some quantity that is depicted or represented by some radical sign. In botany radical refers to something as arising or originating from the root or its corresponding crown.

The word Radical comes from the Middle English word referring to "a root" and was taken from the Late Latin word "radicalis" meaning "having roots".

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