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 integrality (audio) \ noun
integrally \ ˈin-​ti-​grə-​lē How to pronounce integrally (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 The idea that college football is integral to the mental health of the nation is the reason why fans take pictures of empty stadiums on blustery, unseasonably cold days in May. The game has the pull of religion. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "College football may be a religion. But science should decide its future.," 10 May 2020 That’s been integral to how the group garnered global attention and support. Joseph Hincks, Time, "With the World Busy Fighting COVID-19, Could ISIS Mount a Resurgence?," 29 Apr. 2020 On each drive, Anthony was integral to the offense. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Sophomore Vinny Anthony comes up big for Male football in win over Fern Creek," 16 Nov. 2019 In many ways, that film was integral to my career and a jumping off point. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Extraction' Director Didn't Imagine Chris Hemsworth As His Star (At First)," 24 Apr. 2020 Epidemics occur within an ecosystem of diseases, information, and behaviors, all of which are integral to understanding the spread of Covid-19. Laurent Hébert-dufresne And Vicky Chuqiao Yang, STAT, "Misinformation about an outbreak like Covid-19 is important public health data," 7 Apr. 2020 In fact, the history of motherhood is integral to the history of women in this country. Kimberly Seals Allers, Washington Post, "10 ways to honor the work of motherhood during Women’s History Month," 13 Mar. 2020 The idea that Trump is a kind of political Icarus, doomed to fall, is integral to the way many in the media perceive him. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "It’s the End of Trump’s Presidency—Again," 13 Mar. 2020 Neither has any other jazz musician since, and Tyner had been integral to the success of the Coltrane quartet. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "The Jazz Great Behind One of the Most Famous Pairings in Music History," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Integral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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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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