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 conditional (audio) \ noun
conditionally \ kən-​ˈdish-​nə-​lē How to pronounce conditional (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.”
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Sheriff officials said Rupard had been detained in county jail since December, when he was arrested by National City police for allegedly violating the terms of his conditional release from state prison. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Mar. 2022 She wasn't seriously hurt, and Esco was given conditional discharge and no jail time. Tony Aiello, CBS News, 15 Mar. 2022 The charges carry penalties of one to three years in prison, but also probation or conditional discharge, which is similar to probation but with less strict conditions. Jason Meisner,, 10 Mar. 2022 Linn also could sentence Smollett to probation, conditional discharge, community service, restitution, or a combination. Brad Parks, Omar Jimenez And Jason Hanna, CNN, 10 Mar. 2022 Jones pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and was given a conditional release pending sentencing. Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, 12 Feb. 2022 His federal public defender, Samuel Eilers, unsuccessfully argued for conditional release, saying Manley didn’t own guns, didn’t post about the riots on social media and didn’t have a substance abuse problem. Carol Robinson |, al, 4 Jan. 2022 His federal public defender, Samuel Eilers, unsuccessfully argued for conditional release, saying Manley didn’t own guns, didn’t post about the riots on social media and didn’t have a substance abuse problem. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Oct. 2021 By noon, the judge had granted Mercado conditional release. Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jamey Dubose said on social media his conditional already was improving. Ben Thomas |, al, 16 Oct. 2020 All this storytelling can give the agitated mind something to churn on, but obsessing over conditionals can also add to the moment-to-moment burden of preventing sickness and death, and tending to the sick and dying. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 21 Apr. 2020 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, 11 Mar. 2018 Batuman writes; Nina’s reality remains untroubled by conditionals and subjunctives. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, 20 Mar. 2017 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near conditional



conditional baptism

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Statistics for conditional

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conditional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for conditional


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 conditional (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on conditional

Nglish: Translation of conditional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conditional for Arabic Speakers


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