conditional

1 of 2

adjective

con·​di·​tion·​al kən-ˈdish-nəl How to pronounce conditional (audio)
-ˈdi-shə-nᵊl
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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: conditioned sense 2
conditional reflex
conditional response
b
: established by conditioning as the stimulus eliciting a conditional response
conditionality noun
conditionally
kən-ˈdish-nə-lē How to pronounce conditional (audio)
-ˈdi-shə-nə-lē
adverb

conditional

2 of 2

noun

1
: a conditional word, clause, verb form, or morpheme
2

Example Sentences

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
Community groups bearing no financial interest or cost for the project should not dictate conditional uses. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 The firm said the state of Maryland has offered a $1 million conditional loan and that Montgomery County will provide a $100,000 incentive package. Giacomo Bologna, Baltimore Sun, 15 Nov. 2022 About 15,000 are unprocessed conditional voter registration ballots, and several hundred are provisional ballots. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 The fourth and fifth stanzas are fragments that operate in the conditional tense, implying violence by invisible hands. Jennifer Elise Foerster Victoria Chang, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 Later Wednesday, the office estimated that 985,000 vote-by-mail ballots, 21,000 conditional voter registration ballots and several hundred provisional ballots were left to tabulate. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2022 The fact the Nets would have had to sign Udoka to a one-strike-and-you’re-out conditional contract just to steer their club toward the postseason is an indictment of their desperation. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Nov. 2022 Another ex-Cougar, Peter Kuest, will have low conditional status in 2023 after tying for 126th in the final stage. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Nov. 2022 Bold options like making federal funding conditional on cities changing their zoning laws should be considered. Apratim Gautam, Fortune, 4 Nov. 2022
Noun
Jamey Dubose said on social media his conditional already was improving. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, 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.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near conditional

Cite this Entry

“Conditional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conditional. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

conditional

adjective

con·​di·​tion·​al
kən-ˈdish-nəl,
-ən-ᵊl
1
: depending on a condition
a conditional sale
2
: expressing, containing, or implying something supposed
"if we go" is a conditional clause
conditionally
-nə-lē
-ən-ᵊl-ē
adverb

Medical Definition

conditional

adjective

con·​di·​tion·​al kən-ˈdish-nəl, -ən-ᵊl How to pronounce conditional (audio)
1
a
: 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
conditionally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on conditional

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ