on·​to·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌän-tə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce ontological (audio) \

Definition of ontological

1 : of or relating to ontology an ontological principle
2 : relating to or based upon being or existence to lift the modern male out of gender confusion and into ontological certainty— R. A. Shweder

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Other Words from ontological

ontologically \ ˌän-​tə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ontologically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of ontological in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Can philosophy by itself resolve such an ontological quandary? Peter Byrne, Quanta Magazine, "Waiting for the Revolution," 24 May 2013 The underlying problem with the FCC’s approach may not be economic, but ontological. Popular Mechanics, "The Invisible Battle for America’s Airwaves," 17 June 2019 The specter of death is nearly always present, framed by ontological discussions wrought in dizzying spirals of words. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: An ‘Angels in America’ That Soars on the Breath of Life," 25 Mar. 2018 The post raised the ontological questions at the heart of the deepfake debate: Does a naked image of Person A become a naked image of Person B if Person B’s face is superimposed in a seamless and untraceable way? Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Here Come the Fake Videos, Too," 4 Mar. 2018 The affective experience of being lost quickly inflates from a local problem of orientation to a general feeling of ontological failure. Lauren Elkin, The Atlantic, "People Will Always Get Lost," 16 Feb. 2018 And while that might sound a tad ontological for fans of pulp fictions with high body counts, rest assured that the God invoked here is definitely one of vengeance. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Is God Is’ Reinvents the Good, the Bad and the Ugly," 18 Feb. 2018 This represents an almost ontological difference between the two parties. Ryu Spaeth, New Republic, "The End of the Obama Era," 20 Dec. 2017 His permanent search for a better version of himself is clearly influenced by Buddism and ontological coaching. Billboard Argentina, Billboard, "Argentine Pop Star Axel 'In a Very Special Moment': Interview," 20 Dec. 2017

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

1705, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ontological

Last Updated

31 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for ontological

The first known use of ontological was in 1705

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More from Merriam-Webster on ontological

Britannica English: Translation of ontological for Arabic Speakers

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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