See more synonyms for conditional on
  1. imposing, containing, subject to, or depending on a condition or conditions; not absolute; made or allowed on certain terms: conditional acceptance.
  2. Grammar. (of a sentence, clause, mood, or word) involving or expressing a condition, as the first clause in the sentence If it rains, he won't go.
  3. Logic.
    1. (of a proposition) asserting that the existence or occurrence of one thing or event depends on the existence or occurrence of another thing or event; hypothetical.
    2. (of a syllogism) containing at least one conditional proposition as a premise.
  4. Mathematics. (of an inequality) true for only certain values of the variable, as x + 3 > 0 is only true for real numbers greater than −3.Compare absolute(def 12).
  1. Grammar.
    1. (in some languages) a mood, tense, or other category used in expressing conditions, often corresponding to an English verb phrase beginning with would, as Spanish comería “he would eat.”
    2. a sentence, clause, or word expressing a condition.

Origin of conditional

1350–1400; Middle English condicionel < Anglo-French, Middle French < Late Latin condiciōnālis, equivalent to condiciōn- (stem of condiciō) condition + -ālis -al1
Related formscon·di·tion·al·i·ty, nouncon·di·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·con·di·tion·al, adjective

Synonyms for conditional

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conditional

Contemporary Examples of conditional

Historical Examples of conditional

  • You might have helped me to a phrase—A conditional kind of liking!

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • So that this is but conditional liking still, you'll say: nor, I hope, is it more.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Makes a conditional appointment with him for the next night, in the garden.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Conditional immorality they're calling it—the singlerest thing I know.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • I should give a conditional acceptance, and treat for a reduction of the amount.'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

British Dictionary definitions for conditional


  1. depending on other factors; not certain
  2. grammar (of a clause, conjunction, form of a verb, or whole sentence) expressing a condition on which something else is contingent: " If he comes " is a conditional clause in the sentence " If he comes I shall go "
    1. (of an equation or inequality) true for only certain values of the variable: x ² –1 = x + 1 is a conditional equation, only true for x = 2 or –1
    2. (of an infinite series) divergent when the absolute values of the terms are considered
  3. Also: hypothetical logic (of a proposition) consisting of two component propositions associated by the words if…then so that the proposition is false only when the antecedent is true and the consequent false. Usually written: pq or pq, where p is the antecedent, q the consequent, and → or ⊃ symbolizes implies
  1. grammar
    1. a conditional form of a verb
    2. a conditional clause or sentence
  2. logic a conditional proposition
Derived Formsconditionality, nounconditionally, 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

Word Origin and History for conditional

late 14c., condicionel, from Old French condicionel (Modern French conditionnel), from Latin conditionalis, from condicionem (see condition (n.)). Related: Conditionally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper