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existential Syllabification: ex·is·ten·tial
Pronunciation: /ˌeɡzəˈsten(t)SH(ə)l/

Definition of existential in English:


1Of or relating to existence.
Example sentences
  • So I've been going through an existential reckoning lately, in which I'm in the process of critically examining what I'm doing with my life and why I'm doing it.
  • Nashe in The Music of Chance has a compulsion to doubt - the ‘ordinary’ characters are only marginal figures - engaged in a cycle of powerful existential anguish.
  • Yet, although their tackling of such existential matters displays a maturity that few of their hard-rocking colleagues ever come near, the means of delivery can at times seem adolescent.
1.1 Philosophy Concerned with existence, especially human existence as viewed in the theories of existentialism.
Example sentences
  • The existential philosopher Martin Heidegger precedes Foucault in attempting to understand the historical conditionalitics of Being
  • As a statement of existential ontology this says nothing about which affective states are most prevalent.
  • She argues that Mary Daly, like Tillich, correlates existential questions with ontological/theological concerns.
1.2 Logic (Of a proposition) affirming or implying the existence of a thing.
Example sentences
  • Life after Rupert - soon to be 72 - may be the most existential proposition in business today.
  • Peirce aimed to extend Venn's system in expressive power with respect to the first two kinds of propositions, i.e., existential and disjunctive statements.
  • So, singular negative existential propositions are no less paradoxical than are general ones.


Example sentences
  • One thing I won't do is put the central characters into a beach-party situation and have them talking existentially about why they surf.
  • I've lived existentially for 25 years, imagining a moment at a time.
  • A lot of Bresson's work has been read to have spiritual transcendence, yet also can be read existentially, politically and morally.


Late 17th century: from late Latin existentialis, from existentia (see existence).

Words that rhyme with existential

cadential, confidential, consequential, credential, deferential, differential, essential, evidential, experiential, exponential, influential, intelligential, irreverential, jurisprudential, penitential, pestilential, potential, preferential, presidential, providential, prudential, quintessential, referential, residential, reverential, sapiential, sciential, sentential, sequential, tangential, torrential
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