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I came across the words anthropometric and anthropometrical in the context of clinical studies. According to en.wiktionary.org, both are adjectives and they are explained as follows:

anthropometric = "of, or relating to anthropometry"

anthropometrical = "Pertaining to anthropometry"

To me this sounds pretty similar.

What exactly is the difference between them? Could I replace one by the other in all cases? Is there a subtle difference in their meaning that I did not get? Or is there maybe a difference in usage (e.g. one is more colloquial; one is more frequent in the UK; one is only used in certain context, etc.)?

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    The full OED specifically says that anthropometrical = Of or relating to the rate of increase in a human population is an obsolete nonce-use. Other than that, both terms are equivalent (meaning Of or relating to the measurement of the human body; relating to anthropometry), but the shorter/simpler form is vastly more common Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 18:04
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    I must admit I had to look this one up, since I'd never come across either version before (or if I have, I probably just dismissed it as a misused alternative to anthropomorphic or anthropocentric). It would be stretching a point to suppose that either of OP's versions could be called "colloquial". Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 18:07
  • @FumbleFingers Glad we both learned something :) - Do you mind turning your comment to an answer?
    – Arsak
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 18:11
  • +1 @choster I was not aware that this relates to a more general question, thank you for the hint!
    – Arsak
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:45

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The full OED specifically says that anthropometrical = Of or relating to the rate of increase in a human population is an obsolete nonce-use. Other than that, both terms are equivalent (meaning Of or relating to the measurement of the human body; relating to anthropometry), but the shorter/simpler form is vastly more common.

Here's a chart showing relative prevalence of OP's words and closely related terms, from which you can see that nobody has much use for the -ical versions (especially, today)...

enter image description here

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