[ kuhn-dish-uh-nl ]
See synonyms for: conditionalconditionally 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.

  1. Logic.

    • (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.

    • (of a syllogism) containing at least one conditional proposition as a premise.

  2. 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.

    • (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.”

    • 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

Other words for conditional

Other words from conditional

  • con·di·tion·al·i·ty, noun
  • con·di·tion·al·ly, adverb
  • non·con·di·tion·al, adjective

Words Nearby conditional Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use conditional in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for conditional


/ (kənˈdɪʃənəl) /

  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 "

    • (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

    • (of an infinite series) divergent when the absolute values of the terms are considered

  1. 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

    • a conditional form of a verb

    • a conditional clause or sentence

  2. logic a conditional proposition

Derived forms of conditional

  • conditionality, noun
  • conditionally, 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