in·​te·​gral | \ ˈin-ti-grəl (usually so in mathematics) How to pronounce integral (audio) ; in-ˈte-grəl How to pronounce integral (audio) also -ˈtē- also nonstandard ˈin-trə-gəl \

Definition of integral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : essential to completeness : constituent an integral part of the curriculum
b(1) : being, containing, or relating to one or more mathematical integers
(2) : relating to or concerned with mathematical integration or the results of mathematical integration
c : formed as a unit with another part a seat with integral headrest
2 : composed of constituent parts
3 : lacking nothing essential : entire


in·​te·​gral | \ ˈin-ti-grəl (usually so in mathematics) How to pronounce integral (audio) ; in-ˈte-grəl also -ˈtē- also nonstandard ˈin-trə-gəl \

Definition of integral (Entry 2 of 2)

: the result of a mathematical integration — compare definite integral, indefinite integral

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Other Words from integral


integrality \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈgra-​lə-​tē How to pronounce integral (audio) \ noun
integrally \ ˈin-​ti-​grə-​lē How to pronounce integral (audio) ; in-​ˈte-​grə-​ also  -​ˈtē-​ \ adverb

Examples of integral in a Sentence

Adjective I do know that shoot-'em-ups (and saw-'em-ups) are likely to remain part of our lives, and that suggests a depressing idea: Maybe the love of violence is an integral part of human nature … — Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly, 12 Oct. 2007 Stuffed with peanut butter, celery is the quintessential after-school snack; diced, it provides an essential crunch to chicken and potato salads; buttered up, it is an integral part of Thanksgiving stuffing. — Sara Dickerman, New York Times Magazine, 3 Sept. 2006 Sitting out on the grass … watching the freight trains roll by on the levee at two in the morning, drinking a beer and listening to the music drifting out of the club, is an integral part of the whole experience. — Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005 She had become an integral part of their lives. a car dealer respected for his integral honesty and straightforwardness with customers Noun The main tools used in the study of these functions are those we have already discussed: representation as integrals, power-series expansions, and differential equations. — Robert S. Strichartz, The Way of Analysis, 2000
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Vernon came on strong in the second half of the season and was an integral part of the Browns going 11-5 and clinching their first playoff spot since 2002. cleveland, "Browns’ Olivier Vernon ruptures his Achilles tendon and will undergo surgery," 4 Jan. 2021 The native California canine is considered an integral part of the natural landscape. Kurtis Alexander,, "There’s been a rise in coyote-human encounters. New Bay Area parks program aims to understand why," 31 Dec. 2020 Ensuring the data collected remains secure is an integral part of the process, Murley said. Suzanne Baker,, "Naperville bioscience lab taking aim at creating system to dramatically cut COVID-19 test processing time," 30 Dec. 2020 John Scanlon, known as an aggressive crisis manager, portrayed Mrs. Trump as an integral part of the Trump business empire. New York Times, "Howard J. Rubenstein, Public Relations Impresario, Dies at 88," 29 Dec. 2020 Suffering is an integral part of being a Buffalo sports fan and so is loyalty. Dave Seminara, WSJ, "Cuomo Should Take a Knee in Buffalo," 27 Dec. 2020 Quail hunting was once an integral part of our state's culture. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "Hopes for 2021," 27 Dec. 2020 The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust also plays an integral part of maintaining the charm of our village by conserving and stewarding land. Hannah N Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... Hidden Pond," 27 Dec. 2020 Many tribal members also dig clams for subsistence use and see it as an integral part of their heritage and culture. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A Unique Alliance Could Help Warn Us of Toxic Algae," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To tally the possibilities implied by a loop, theorists must turn to a summing operation known as an integral. Quanta Magazine, "The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View," 20 Aug. 2020 But there is one small mercy: Physicists don’t need to calculate every last integral in a complicated Feynman diagram because the vast majority can be lumped together. Quanta Magazine, "The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View," 20 Aug. 2020 Progress, and much needed for a starter integral to Oakland’s hopes of winning the division and going deep into the postseason. Susan Slusser,, "Sean Manaea shows good signs and A’s, powered by Mark Canha, get another late win," 15 Aug. 2020 Physicists then take the integral of every possible path an experiment could follow from beginning to end and add those integrals together. Quanta Magazine, "The Math That’s Too Difficult for Physics," 18 Nov. 2016

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


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1741, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for integral


see integer


see integer

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Time Traveler for integral

Time Traveler

The first known use of integral was in 1551

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Statistics for integral

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Integral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for integral


How to pronounce integral (audio) How to pronounce integral (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of integral

: very important and necessary


in·​te·​gral | \ ˈin-ti-grəl How to pronounce integral (audio) \

Kids Definition of integral

: very important and necessary : needed to make something complete an integral part

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