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phylogeny the evolution or historical development of a plant or animal species or a human tribe or similar group. (Cf. ontogeny.)
phylum the principal subdivision of animals, and of some classifications of plants, according to their major shared characteristics, each subdivision containing one or more classes. [2 definitions]
phys. ed. abbreviation of "physical education."
physic a drug or medicine, esp. a purgative or strong laxative. [3 definitions]
physical of the body. [4 definitions]
physical anthropology the branch of anthropology concerned with the evolutionary development of humans, physical differences between races, and classifications. (Cf. cultural anthropology.)
physical chemistry a branch of chemistry in which physical principles and techniques are applied to the analysis of chemical properties and transformations.
physical comedy comedic performance that uses the body to express exaggerated emotional states.
physical dependence a body's adaptation to a chronically-used drug such that withdrawal of the drug results in adverse physical symptoms.
physical education instruction in sports, exercise, and the care and hygiene of the human body, esp. as a course or program in a school or college.
physical geography the branch of geography concerned with the earth's land masses, oceans, and climate, and the distribution of plant and animal species.
physicalism the doctrine or belief that the essential elements of meaningful statements are only those relating to physical properties or observations of objects or events.
physically in, with, or by means of the body.
physical science any science, such as chemistry, physics, astronomy, or geology, that deals with inanimate matter or energy.
physical therapy the treatment of disease and injury by physical and mechanical means, such as exercise, heat, ultraviolet or infrared light, hydrotherapy, or massage, rather than by drugs; physiotherapy.
physical tolerance a bodily state in which, with repeated exposure to a drug over time, a higher dose of the drug is required to achieve the same effect.
physician a licensed medical doctor, esp. one who is not a surgeon. [2 definitions]
physician's assistant one who is certified to do certain medical procedures under the supervision of a medical doctor.
physicist a scientist whose specialty is physics.
physics (used with a sing. verb) the science that deals with matter and energy, their properties, and their interactions. [2 definitions]
physio- nature. [2 definitions]