con·​di·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈdish-nəl How to pronounce conditional (audio) , -ˈdi-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of conditional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : subject to, implying, or dependent upon a condition a conditional promise
2 : expressing, containing, or implying a supposition the conditional clause if he speaks
3a : true only for certain values of the variables or symbols involved conditional equations
b : stating the case when one or more random variables are fixed or one or more events are known conditional frequency distribution
4a : conditioned sense 2 conditional reflex conditional response
b : established by conditioning as the stimulus eliciting a conditional response



Definition of conditional (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a conditional word, clause, verb form, or morpheme

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Other Words from conditional


conditionality \ kən-​ˌdi-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce conditionality (audio) \ noun
conditionally \ kən-​ˈdish-​nə-​lē How to pronounce conditionally (audio) , -​ˈdi-​shə-​nə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for conditional

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of conditional in a Sentence

Adjective “If she speaks, you must listen” is a conditional sentence. The sentence contains the conditional clause “if she speaks.” Noun The clause “if she speaks” is a conditional. The conditional is often marked by the word “if.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The deal would be conditional, though, and would require demonstrable peace efforts by the Taliban before the US moves forward with further negotiations or withdraws troops. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for February 14: Coronavirus, Election 2020, Taliban, White House," 14 Feb. 2020 American and Taliban negotiators met Wednesday in Doha, Qatar, following a conditional decision from President Trump to sign a peace deal with the militants, according to officials. Susannah George,, "US, Taliban to meet again following Trump approval," 12 Feb. 2020 But her conditional embrace of a Medicare for All health plan that would upend America’s existing insurance system turned off moderates without winning over Sanders supporters. Time, "Forget Iowa. The Democrats Now Have Bigger 2020 Problems," 6 Feb. 2020 Kentucky Board of Education commissioner Wayne Lewis gave his conditional resignation as new board members appointed by Beshear were sworn in. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Federal judge sets hearing in injunction request from ousted Kentucky school board members," 4 Feb. 2020 The sale of GE’s biotechnology business to Mr. Culp’s former company, Danaher Corp., received conditional clearance in Europe last month, and GE’s 2020 projections assume its closing by the end of March. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE Finds Its Footing and Posts Strong Cash Flow," 29 Jan. 2020 Her attorney, Margaret Stock, took the case to federal court in San Antonio and and won a conditional order for Citizenship and Immigration Services to decide Kaliuzhna‘s fate by Jan. 10. Sig Christenson,, "Wary but hopeful, ex-soldier in San Antonio reaches for citizenship," 10 Jan. 2020 Arizona got Drake from the Dolphins in exchange for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama NFL roundup: Kenyan Drake runs for career high again," 23 Dec. 2019 New Jersey received three prospects, a 2020 first-round pick (top-3 protected) and a conditional third-round selection in 2021 in the trade. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Taylor Hall trade grades, reaction: Arizona Coyotes receive rave reviews for acquisition," 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All of those conditionals, again, stem from the fact that these materials don't yet exist, at least not in quantity, and even 2030 might not be a long enough timeline to find and mass-produce them. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Lego Builds a Sustainable Future, One Brick at a Time," 11 Mar. 2018 Batuman writes; Nina’s reality remains untroubled by conditionals and subjunctives. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, "Elif Batuman sets out to write a novel as chaotic, random, and intoxicating as real life.," 20 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conditional.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conditional


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for conditional

Time Traveler

The first known use of conditional was in the 14th century

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Statistics for conditional

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conditional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for conditional


How to pronounce conditional (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conditional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

grammar : showing or used to show that something is true or happens only if something else is true or happens



English Language Learners Definition of conditional (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word, clause, or sentence that shows that something is true or happens only if something else is true or happens
: the mood or form that is used to say that something is true or happens only if something else is true or happens


con·​di·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈdi-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce conditional (audio) \

Kids Definition of conditional

: of or relating to something that will happen only if something else happens a conditional promise


con·​di·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈdish-nəl, -ən-ᵊl How to pronounce conditional (audio) \

Medical Definition of conditional

1a : conditioned conditional reflex conditional response
b : eliciting a conditional response a conditional stimulus
2 : permitting survival only under special growth or environmental conditions conditional lethal mutations

Other Words from conditional

conditionally \ -​ˈdish-​nə-​lē, -​ən-​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce conditionally (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on conditional

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