Rad"i*cal (?), a. [F., fr. L. radicalis having roots, fr. radix, -icis, a root. See Radix.]
Of or pertaining to the root; proceeding directly from the root.
Hence: Of or pertaining to the root or origin; reaching to the center, to the foundation to the ultimate sources to the principles, or the like: original; fundamental; thorough-going; unsparing; extreme; as, radical evils; radical reform; a radical party.
The most determined exertions of that authority, against them, only showed their radical independence.
3. Bot. (a)
Belonging to, or proceeding from, the root of a plant; as, radical tubers or hairs.
Proceeding from a rootlike stem, or one which does not rise above the ground; as, the radical leaves of the dandelion and the sidesaddle flower.
Relating, or belonging, to the root, or ultimate source of derivation; as, a radical verbal form.
Of or pertaining to a radix or root; as, a radical quantity; a radical sign. See below.
Radical axis of two circles. Geom. See under Axis. -- Radical pitch, the pitch or tone with which the utterance of a syllable begins. Rush. -- Radical quantity Alg., a quantity to which the radical sign is prefixed; specifically, a quantity which is not a perfect power of the degree indicated by the radical sign; a surd. -- Radical sign Math., the sign &root; (originally the letter r, the initial of radix, root), placed before any quantity, denoting that its root is to be extracted; thus, &root;a, or &root;(a + b). To indicate any other than the square root, a corresponding figure is placed over the sign; thus &cuberoot;a, indicates the third or cube root of a. -- Radical stress Elocution, force of utterance falling on the initial part of a syllable or sound. -- Radical vessels Anat., minute vessels which originate in the substance of the tissues.
Syn. -- Primitive; original; natural; underived; fundamental; entire. -- Radical, Entire. These words are frequently employed as interchangeable in describing some marked alternation in the condition of things. There is, however, an obvious difference between them. A radical cure, reform, etc., is one which goes to the root of the thing in question; and it is entire, in the sense that, by affecting the root, it affects in a appropriate degree the entire body nourished by the root; but it may not be entire in the sense of making a change complete in its nature, as well as in its extent. Hence, we speak of a radical change; a radical improvement; radical differences of opinion; while an entire change, an entire improvement, an entire difference of opinion, might indicate more than was actually intended. A certain change may be both radical and entire, in every sense.
© Webster 1913.
Rad"i*cal (?), n.
1. Philol. (a)
A primitive word; a radix, root, or simple, underived, uncompounded word; an etymon.
A primitive letter; a letter that belongs to the radix.
The words we at present make use of, and understand only by common agreement, assume a new air and life in the understanding, when you trace them to their radicals, where you find every word strongly stamped with nature; full of energy, meaning, character, painting, and poetry.
One who advocates radical changes in government or social institutions, especially such changes as are intended to level class inequalities; -- opposed to conservative.
In politics they [the Independents] were, to use phrase of their own time. "Root-and-Branch men," or, to use the kindred phrase of our own, Radicals.
3. Chem. (a)
A characteristic, essential, and fundamental constituent of any compound; hence, sometimes, an atom.
As a general rule, the metallic atoms are basic radicals, while the nonmetallic atoms are acid radicals.
J. P. Cooke.
(b) Specifically, a group of two or more atoms, not completely saturated, which are so linked that their union implies certain properties, and are conveniently regarded as playing the part of a single atom; a residue; -- called also a compound radical. Cf. Residue.
A radical quantity. See under Radical, a.
An indicated root of a perfect power of the degree indicated is not a radical but a rational quantity under a radical form.
Davies & Peck (Math. Dict. )
A radical vessel. See under Radical, a.
© Webster 1913.