A Physical move is one in which the user uses its physical strength or solid projectiles in order to damage its foes. Damage dealt by a physical move depends on both the Attack stat of the attacking Pokémon and the Defense stat of the defending Pokémon.
There are also a small number of special moves introduced in Generation V that deal physical damage. That is, they use the attacking Pokémon’s Special Attack and the defending Pokémon’s Defense to calculate damage.
While most physical moves make contact, some do not. For example, Earthquake does not make contact despite being a physical move.