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 While surveying voters across the country is an integral part of the Battleground Tracker, this is more than your typical poll. Kabir Khanna, CBS News, "5 things to know about CBS News' 2020 Battleground Tracker," 12 July 2020 Additional areas -- a barn garden, rock garden and companion gardens -- are all detailed in Noble’s story. Meadows, fields and forest, an integral part of Noble’s complete garden, enhance the feel of the entire place. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Garden book review: ‘Spirit of Place: The Making of a New England Garden’," 5 July 2020 This can create an equal playing field for all employees and becomes an integral part of the culture that binds people together—despite the distance. Brian Kardon, Fortune, "The case for going all-in on remote work," 5 July 2020 Berry -- who was involved in trading up to draft Njoku in 2017 -- has stressed all offseason that the former Miami product was an integral part of Stefanski’s two tight-end scheme. cleveland, "David Njoku’s new agent Drew Rosenhaus asks Browns to trade him by start of camp, but they want to keep him, source says," 3 July 2020 Observation and science brought one closer to a larger sense of order, in which man was an integral part, not an overlord. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "What do Thomas Jefferson, a mastodon skeleton and Alexander von Humboldt have in common? The answer is locked inside the Smithsonian.," 1 July 2020 Josh Uche was the defense’s most unique player last season, and perhaps the most integral member of the unit. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football roundtable: Who's the toughest opponent for 2020 — after Ohio State?," 8 June 2020 Moreover, the game’s poor netcode means IRL play is still integral to competitive gameplay. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "The Super Smash Bros. Community Reckons With Sexual Misconduct Allegations," 10 July 2020 When there is a massive activation of the inflammation system, thrombosis is an integral part of the inflammation. Lauren Caruba,, "San Antonio vascular expert explains how coronavirus, COVID-19, can cause blood clots and stroke, even in young people," 9 July 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

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Integral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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