op·​tion·​al | \ ˈäp-shnəl How to pronounce optional (audio) , -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of optional

: involving an option : not compulsory

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Other Words from optional

optionality \ ˌäp-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce optionality (audio) \ noun
optionally adverb

Examples of optional in a Sentence

Jackets are required at the restaurant, but ties are optional. Many optional features are available on this car. Registration is optional, not mandatory.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The stand is optional: Mac Pro users could technically lean a monitor against the computer itself instead. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Apple monitor stand that costs more than an iPhone sparks online uproar," 5 June 2019 Florida lawmakers have repeatedly rejected such an expansion, which is optional for states as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. sun-sentinel.com, "Medicaid expansion amendment reaches review by Florida Supreme Court," 4 June 2019 More Ezra wisdom: The 911 has optional all-wheel drive, which, for a long time, was really unusual in sports car. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Why Does Everyone Love the Porsche 911?," 21 Dec. 2018 The Stinger is a rear-wheel-drive car with optional all-wheel-drive. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "2018 Kia Stinger: A name worth remembering," 19 Apr. 2018 The Titanium continues with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost (with optional all-wheel drive), while the Sport carries on with the 325-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive as standard. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "Ford Refreshes the Fusion Again and Debuts Co-Pilot360 Safety Package," 20 Mar. 2018 Similarities continue underhood with four-cylinder engines, continuously variable automatic transmissions and optional all-wheel drive. Dan Frio, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Crossover SUVs compared: Edmunds takes a closer look at Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue," 3 Mar. 2018 With DJs like Aurora Halal, Juliana Huxtable, and Kilbourne playing in a venue that’s adjacent to a clothing-optional beach, the setting will provide a relaxing juxtaposition to music that would otherwise blast out of the Berghain sound system. Vogue, "Forget Coachella: These Far-Flung Alternatives Are Pushing Festival Style Forward," 9 Mar. 2019 Curiously, more basic features such as blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors are still offered as optional extras. Alex Conley, Car and Driver, "2018 Toyota Highlander," 29 Jan. 2018

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

1765, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for optional

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for optional

The first known use of optional was in 1765

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More Definitions for optional



English Language Learners Definition of optional

: available as a choice but not required


op·​tion·​al | \ ˈäp-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce optional (audio) \

Kids Definition of optional

: left to choice : not required Costumes are optional at the party.

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More from Merriam-Webster on optional

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for optional

Spanish Central: Translation of optional

Nglish: Translation of optional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of optional for Arabic Speakers

Comments on optional

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