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  1. left to one's choice; not required or mandatory: Formal dress is optional.
  2. leaving something to choice.
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Origin of optional

First recorded in 1755–65; option + -al1
Related formsop·tion·al·i·ty, nounop·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·op·tion·al, adjectivenon·op·tion·al·ly, adverbun·op·tion·al, adjectiveun·op·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for optional

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for optionally

willingly, freely, spontaneously, deliberately, intentionally, optionally, uselessly

Examples from the Web for optionally

Contemporary Examples of optionally

Historical Examples of optionally

British Dictionary definitions for optionally


  1. possible but not compulsory; left to personal choice
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Derived Formsoptionally, 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 optionally



1765, from option + -al (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper