ex·​is·​ten·​tial | \ ˌeg-(ˌ)zi-ˈsten(t)-shəl How to pronounce existential (audio) , ˌek-(ˌ)si-\

Definition of existential

1 : of, relating to, or affirming existence existential propositions
2a : grounded in existence or the experience of existence : empirical
b : having being in time and space
3 [ translation of Danish eksistentiel & German existential ] : existentialist

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Other Words from existential

existentially adverb

Examples of existential in a Sentence

child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim believed that fairy tales help children cope with their existential anxieties and dilemmas

Recent Examples on the Web

One of my best friends Bobo Matjila (@bobomatjila_) also has a really healing page, and has a lot of existential thoughts on death and love on her page. Akili King, Vogue, "Before Bed: Raveena Enjoys a Eucalyptus-Filled Shower and a Guided Meditation," 3 July 2019 And these Canadian punks back it up with a sound that's cathartic enough to tackle all your existential demons. Ed Masley, azcentral, "July concerts in Phoenix: Shawn Mendes, Queen & Adam Lambert, DaBaby, Third Eye Blind," 2 July 2019 Former Louisville superstar Russ Smith goes existential. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Buddy Bat, for some reason, comes to a Louisville Metro Council meeting," 28 June 2019 The most recent entry, Toy Story 4, which seemed to have no reason to exist outside of a financial perspective, proves its creative necessity by taking us on what may be the series’ most existential and life-affirming installment. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Toy Story 4' Evokes the Journey of the Western Hero," 22 June 2019 However, in today’s world, a figure such as Eco does not inspire the awe or respect which our age of existential crisis demands. Julian Ch Lee, Quartzy, "Godzilla is the perfect monster for our age of environmental destruction," 1 June 2019 His existential angst made him special and allowed him to help others with his unique physical gifts. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Five Early Lessons in Parenting," 5 May 2018 But in every devastating moment, every existential wrestle, Acevedo sows seeds of beauty and growth. Katie Ward Beim-esche, The Christian Science Monitor, "YA novel 'The Poet X' is an elegiac meditation on poesy and religion," 23 Mar. 2018 The growing climate crisis is the existential threat of our time and President Trump’s shameful response was to put lobbyists and polluters in charge of protecting your health and safety,’’ Pelosi said. Ellen Knickmeyer, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'existential.' 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 existential

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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More from Merriam-Webster on existential

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with existential

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for existential

Britannica English: Translation of existential for Arabic Speakers

Comments on existential

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