functional

adjective
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Another point of agreement is that functional concerns matter. Tom Ginsburg, Fortune, "Can the President Be Indicted? Yes, But Not By Who You Think," 22 May 2018 Like the Oculus Go, its strap has small built-in speakers that serve as very functional headphone substitutes, controlled by a volume rocker on the headset’s underside. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Oculus Quest put us in an ‘arena-scale’ Wild West shootout, and it was great," 27 Sep. 2018 AL East champion: New York Yankees Brian Cashman’s masterful work in swiftly rebuilding the Death Star while keeping it functional during repairs will have the Yankees empire back atop the AL East in 2018. Ted Berg, For The Win, "Picking every MLB division, award, and playoff series winner for 2018," 27 Mar. 2018 Not only has Palermo accomplished the near impossible task of finding a place for countless women's styles in one collection, but she's also mastered the art of making fashion functional. Logan Sykes, Town & Country, "Olivia Palermo's Nordstrom Collaboration is Just as Chic as You'd Imagine," 5 Feb. 2016 Plus, the multi-functional aspect of the designs speak to IKEA's mission to simplify and streamline homes of all sizes. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "IKEA's New Lamp and Bookshelf Double as Speakers," 8 Apr. 2019 At Fashion Weeks around the world, many showgoers have stepped out in the super-functional and fashion-forward trend. Vogue, "The Ugly Shoe Is Fashion’s New Festival Style Staple," 1 Apr. 2019 There are large puffy inserts in front of the passenger and on the doors, and the driver is treated to an instrument cluster that pairs an analog speedometer with a multi-functional digital display. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "The 2019 Honda Insight is a strangely normal hybrid," 24 Aug. 2018 Everything else, particularly the functional-but-that’s-it direction by Gary Ross and the duff dialogue by Ross and co-writer Olivia Milch. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Ocean’s 8’ is a different take on the bling ring," 6 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of functional

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about functional

Statistics for functional

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for functional

The first known use of functional was in 1633

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for functional

functional

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of functional

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

functional

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on functional

What made you want to look up functional? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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