Definition of conditional in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kənˈdiSH(ə)n(ə)l/


1Subject to one or more conditions or requirements being met; made or granted on certain terms: Western aid was only granted conditional on further reform the consortium has made a conditional offer
More example sentences
  • Legal sources have expressed mixed views over the true meaning of the company's conditional offer to meet future claims, with some on the union side now extremely sceptical.
  • It may be permitted subject to a conditional use permit (meaning you have to meet certain additional criteria before you build or remodel), or it may not be allowed at all.
  • When asked about his views on the canal he declined even conditional support, listing numerous hurdles required to be overcome before approval would be considered for federal funding.
subject to, dependent on, contingent on, based on, determined by, controlled by, tied to
contingent, dependent, qualified, with reservations, limited, provisional, provisory
2 Grammar (Of a clause, phrase, conjunction, or verb form) expressing a condition.
Example sentences
  • And she puts it in a conditional clause, which makes a difference.
  • God's promise of the Land of Israel to the Jews has its unconditional clause and its conditional clause.
  • As indicated above, this is an argument with conditional clauses all of which are debatable.


1 Grammar & Philosophy A conditional clause or conjunction.
Example sentences
  • Let us turn now, though, to subjunctive conditionals contextualism.
  • But notice that it is not a conjunction of conditionals of the form ‘If John said that p, then p,’ each with a true antecedent.
  • This should have been a conjunction, not a conditional.
1.1A statement or sentence containing a conditional clause.
Example sentences
  • Recall that a conditional is a sentence of the form if a then c, which we are writing as a c.
  • But it's my guess that most people take the first two clauses of the song as the protases of a conditional, rather than as rhetorical questions.
  • Note that the inductive argument the agents run through depends upon the conclusions they each draw from several counterfactual conditionals.
2 Grammar The conditional mood of a verb, for example should die in if I should die.
Example sentences
  • Romanian uses an analytic construction for the conditional.
  • The grammar of the lyrics uses what is called the conditional.
  • In this learn Spanish grammar lesson, we review the Spanish conditional tense and how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the conditional.



Pronunciation: /kənˌdiSHəˈnalədē/
Example sentences
  • He cites two reasons: ‘One is its clarity and lack of conditionality.’
  • In recent years the UK has been moving away from traditional approaches to conditionality.
  • I personally believe that conditionality should be imposed.


Late Middle English: from Old French condicionel or late Latin condicionalis, from condicio(n-) 'agreement' (see condition).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·di·tion·al

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.