in·​te·​gral | \ ˈin-ti-grəl (usu so in mathematics) ; in-ˈte-grəl 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 (usu so in mathematics) ; 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 \ noun
integrally \ ˈin-​ti-​grə-​lē ; in-​ˈte-​grə-​ also  -​ˈtē-​ \ adverb

Examples of integral in a Sentence


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


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

Neria was integral in Burbank tying the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, loading the bases to allow Daniel Edwards to score on a groundout. Emin Avakian,, "Burbank Junior All-Stars come up short against Palmdale," 11 July 2018 Jim Jordan has been integral in fighting back against some of that -- some of those conspiracy theories surrounding Russia collusion. Fox News, "Political fallout from Scott Pruitt's resignation," 6 July 2018 For Jarred Kelenic, the opportunity to use such amenities locally will be integral in his success, his father said. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jarred Kelenic's success partly relied on training at Waukesha facilities built by his dad, who hopes he can help more athletes," 13 June 2018 The original statement was particularly surprising given that the Thorns organization was integral in helping the Utah Royals join the NWSL as an expansion franchise this year. Jamie Goldberg,, "Supporters' group for Utah Royals faces backlash after saying opposing fans are not welcome," 28 Apr. 2018 The federal Highway Trust Fund is forecast to become insolvent by the end of 2020, and the next Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair will be integral in determining how Congress responds. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Will Congress raise the federal gas tax? California Republican could have a major say | The Sacramento Bee," 27 Apr. 2018 But as a new review of research from the University of Toronto details, the act of forgetting — a complex process in the brain — is integral in enabling us to collect new information and ultimately make smarter decisions. Nicole Audrey /, NBC News, "Forgetting makes us smarter. Use these tricks to remember what you need to," 13 Apr. 2018 As with any Italian story, food and wine are integral in uniting characters and each snack, meal and drink among friends is vividly depicted. Ashley Day, USA TODAY, "'Women in Sunlight': Frances Mayes shines with new novel about Tuscany, friendship," 9 Apr. 2018 Brittney Martin, 29, was integral in the trials of Johnson and the Steven Bradley, the other man accused in the Joseph's murders. Marie Simoneaux,, "Drowning murder trial's star witness to spend 5 years in prison for obstruction," 28 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for integral

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for integral

The first known use of integral was in 1551

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More Definitions for integral



English Language Learners Definition of integral

: very important and necessary


in·​te·​gral | \ ˈin-ti-grəl \

Kids Definition of integral

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

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Comments on integral

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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