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[eg-zi-sten-shuh l, ek-si-] /ˌɛg zɪˈstɛn ʃəl, ˌɛk sɪ-/
pertaining to existence.
of, relating to, or characteristic of existentialism:
an existential hero.
Origin of existential
First recorded in 1685-95, existential is from the Late Latin word existentiālis relating to existing. See existence, -al1
Related forms
existentially, adverb
nonexistential, adjective
nonexistentially, adverb
unexistential, adjective
unexistentially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for existentially
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They exist only so long as they are apprehended; and they are numerically and existentially distinct in each individual mind.

  • It is not easy to avoid the conclusion that Dewey conceives of 'consciousness' as a construct of existentially distinct terms.

    John Dewey's logical theory Delton Thomas Howard
  • Light is really, physically, existentially, refracted into these forms.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
British Dictionary definitions for existentially


of or relating to existence, esp human existence
(philosophy) pertaining to what exists, and is thus known by experience rather than reason; empirical as opposed to theoretical
(logic) denoting or relating to a formula or proposition asserting the existence of at least one object fulfilling a given condition; containing an existential quantifier
of or relating to existentialism
noun (logic)
  1. an existential statement or formula
  2. short for existential quantifier
Derived Forms
existentially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for existentially



1690s, "pertaining to existence," from Late Latin existentialis/exsistentialis, from existentia/exsistentia (see existence). As a term in logic, from 1819; in philosophy, from 1937, tracing back to the Danish works of Kierkegaard (see existentialism). Related: Existentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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