[ eg-zi-sten-shuhl, ek-si- ]
/ ˌɛg zɪˈstɛn ʃəl, ˌɛk sɪ- /


of or relating to existence: Does climate change pose an existential threat to humanity?
of, relating to, or characteristic of philosophical existentialism; concerned with the nature of human existence as determined by the individual's freely made choices.

Origin of existential

First recorded in 1685–95, existential is from the Late Latin word existentiālis “relating to existing”; see existence, -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM existential

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for existentially

  • The other characters struggle, too, to varying material degrees, but all existentially.

    Great Weekend Reads|The Daily Beast|November 20, 2010|DAILY BEAST
  • 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
  • They exist only so long as they are apprehended; and they are numerically and existentially distinct in each individual mind.

British Dictionary definitions for existentially

/ (ˌɛɡzɪˈstɛnʃəl) /


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 of existential

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