func·​tion·​al | \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shnəl How to pronounce functional (audio) , -shə-nᵊl \

Definition of functional

1a : of, connected with, or being a function the functional differences between the departments
b : affecting physiological or psychological functions but not organic structure functional heart disease
2 : used to contribute to the development or maintenance of a larger whole functional and practical school courses also : designed or developed chiefly from the point of view of use The design of the building is not only functional but also beautiful.
3 : performing or able to perform a regular function The flashlight was still functional after I had dropped it.

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Other Words from functional

functionally \ ˈfəŋ(k)-​shnə-​lē How to pronounce functionally (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Examples of functional in a Sentence

They worked outside, so they preferred wearing functional clothes. The building's design is not only functional but also beautiful. The flashlight was still functional after I dropped it. The computer network is fully functional.
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Recent Examples on the Web Later, the company told employees that specific approval is needed to gain access to an office, but identification badges remain functional. Mark Gurman,, "Apple Tests Its Secrecy Somewhere New: Employee Homes," 10 May 2020 Beyond providing tips on how to make the physical space more functional, she, along with her co-author Scott Sonenshein, stresses the importance of decluttering nonphysical items. Time, "Marie Kondo's Best Advice for Turning Your Home Into a Workspace Without Losing Your Mind," 14 Apr. 2020 Low-carbon alternatives in aviation are theoretically possible but could be decades away, requiring substantial investment for research and development to make biofuels or electric planes, for instance, functional and scalable. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "An Airline Bailout Should Have More Strings Attached Than a Harp," 11 Apr. 2020 However, certain safety systems, such as forward-collision alert, remain functional. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Is a $1000 Aftermarket Add-On as Capable as Tesla's Autopilot and Cadillac's Super Cruise?," 10 Feb. 2020 Even if the Trace Gas Orbiter remains functional for many years to come, the Mars 2020 rover will have to share the orbiter’s bandwidth with, among devices, ESA’s Rosalind Franklin rover, which also arrives in 2021. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Rocks, Rockets and Robots: The Plan to Bring Mars Down to Earth," 6 Feb. 2020 Interestingly, reported Tracey Shelton for last October, some of the fish traps in what is now the Budj Bim National Park remain functional today. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Australian Bushfires Reveal Hidden Sections of Ancient Aquaculture System," 22 Jan. 2020 Kuang hails the efforts of the Bauhaus movement to reunite art and functional design, and the success of designers like Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes in dazzling customers with sleek contours and the allure of modernity. Fortune, "These Books Will Help You Understand the Relationship Between Human and Machine," 28 Dec. 2019 While reimagining the space to make to more functional, the idea of a statement wall emerged. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "How Denver's Jamie Nusser Created This Cool Bathroom Mural from Penny Tile," 24 Apr. 2020

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

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for functional

Time Traveler

The first known use of functional was in 1633

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Statistics for functional

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Functional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for functional


How to pronounce functional (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of functional

: designed to have a practical use
medical : affecting the way a part of your body works
: working properly


func·​tion·​al | \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl How to pronounce functional (audio) \

Medical Definition of functional

1a : of, connected with, or being a function — compare structural sense 1
b : affecting physiological or psychological functions but not organic structure functional heart disease a functional psychosis — compare organic sense 1b
2 : performing or able to perform a regular function

Other Words from functional

functionally \ -​ē How to pronounce functionally (audio) \ adverb

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