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[in-ti-gruh l, in-teg-ruh l] /ˈɪn tɪ grəl, ɪnˈtɛg rəl/
of, relating to, or belonging as a part of the whole; constituent or component:
integral parts.
necessary to the completeness of the whole:
This point is integral to his plan.
consisting or composed of parts that together constitute a whole.
entire; complete; whole:
the integral works of a writer.
Arithmetic. pertaining to or being an integer; not fractional.
Mathematics. pertaining to or involving integrals.
an integral whole.
  1. Also called Riemann integral. the numerical measure of the area bounded above by the graph of a given function, below by the x -axis, and on the sides by ordinates drawn at the endpoints of a specified interval; the limit, as the norm of partitions of the given interval approaches zero, of the sum of the products of the function evaluated at a point in each subinterval times the length of the subinterval.
  2. a primitive.
  3. any of several analogous quantities.
Origin of integral
From the Medieval Latin word integrālis, dating back to 1545-55. See integer, -al1
Related forms
integrality, noun
integrally, adverb
unintegral, adjective
unintegrally, adverb
2. essential, indispensable, requisite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for integral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We shall again meet with this consideration relatively to the integral calculus, where it acquires a preponderant importance.

  • To some extent, literacy was an integral part of these accomplishments.

  • Of this Confederation, Turkey would be an integral and essential part.

  • Quickly they go, the whole is quick; for they are all parts of one integral action.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • There is now one universal code of laws for the nation, whole or integral.

    A. D. 2000 Alvarado M. Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for integral


adjective (ˈɪntɪɡrəl; ɪnˈtɛɡrəl)
(often foll by to) being an essential part (of); intrinsic (to)
intact; entire
formed of constituent parts; united
  1. of or involving an integral
  2. involving or being an integer
noun (ˈɪntɪɡrəl)
(maths) the limit of an increasingly large number of increasingly smaller quantities, related to the function that is being integrated (the integrand). The independent variables may be confined within certain limits (definite integral) or in the absence of limits (indefinite integral) ʃ
a complete thing; whole
Derived Forms
integrality (ˌɪntɪˈɡrælɪtɪ) noun
integrally, 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 integral

late 15c., "of or pertaining to a whole," from Middle French intégral (14c.), from Medieval Latin integralis "forming a whole," from Latin integer "whole" (see integer). Related: Integrally. As a noun, 1610s, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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integral in Science
Adjective  Involving or expressed as an integer or integers.

Noun  See definite integral, indefinite integral.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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