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 functional (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 Accessibility may bring to mind a frail or mobility-challenged individual, but accessibility-enhancing gifts can help moms of all ages and abilities be safer and more functional at home. Jamie Gold, Forbes, "30 Wellness Design Gifts For Mother’s Day 2021," 4 May 2021 Other pieces, such as the sofa and ottoman, are larger and more functional for a family. Sarah Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, "This Small Condo Trades Square Footage for a Spacious Backyard and Proximity to the Coast," 4 May 2021 Dual-purpose furniture is the secret to making any room more functional. Jessica Dailey, ELLE Decor, "The Secrets to a High-Functioning “Does It All” Room," 23 Apr. 2021 The top bar is more functional than ever before with the Control Center, with the quick settings function from iOS and iPadOS now on the Mac. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The new Silicon-powered MacBook Air sets a new standard for Apple laptops," 17 Nov. 2020 Early next month, the company expects to roll out an internal cross-functional chatbot designed to drive efforts to consolidate business reporting and analytics across the company, Mr. Shurkey said. Angus Loten, WSJ, "CIOs Accelerate Pre-Pandemic Cloud Push," 26 Apr. 2021 But can any of them replicate the intensity of individual working relationships and the cross-functional projects from when the company was more intimate? Robert Sher, Forbes, "How Midsized Companies Can Launch Powerful Mentoring Programs," 21 Apr. 2021 Newsom has defended the measures to protect Californian lives and keep the hospitals functional. Los Angeles Times, "California’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 60,000 even as conditions improve," 11 Apr. 2021 As an entrepreneur, hairstylist, dog mom and mom to a new baby, Atkin created this collection with go-getters in mind — with each of these multi-functional products, anyone can achieve a quick on-the-go, minimalist look. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, "Celebrity Hairstylist and OUAI Founder Jen Atkin Just Released A Makeup Collection with e.l.f Cosmetics," 7 Apr. 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Functional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for functional



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 functional (audio) \ adverb

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