I read a definition of "clinical" in Merriam Webster dictionaries which was:

Analytical or coolly dispassionate

I suppose there should be "analytically" instead of "analytical" in the definition because there should be adverb before adjective.


It depends on how you interpret the items on either side of the conjunction or in that dictionary entry.

If you're thinking of adjectives, one a single word and the other an adjectival phrase, then:

He is analytical. or
He is coolly dispassionate.

→ He is (analytical) or (coolly dispassionate).

But if you're thinking of two individual adverbs, each modifying dispassionate, then:

He is analytically dispassionate. or
He is coolly dispassionate.

→ He is (analytically or coolly) dispassionate.

The dictionary entry is interpreting it in the first sense.


This definition lists two adjectives:

  1. Analytical
  2. Coolly dispassionate

The first adjective is not modified by an adverb, the second is.

Hence, there's no need to change "analytical" to "analytically".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.