Meaning of existential in English:


Pronunciation /ˌɛɡzɪˈstɛnʃ(ə)l/

Translate existential into Spanish


  • 1Relating to existence.

    ‘So I've been going through an existential reckoning lately, in which I'm in the process of critically examining what I'm doing with my life and why I'm doing it.’
    • ‘Nashe in The Music of Chance has a compulsion to doubt - the ‘ordinary’ characters are only marginal figures - engaged in a cycle of powerful existential anguish.’
    • ‘Yet, although their tackling of such existential matters displays a maturity that few of their hard-rocking colleagues ever come near, the means of delivery can at times seem adolescent.’
    • ‘Every few months it seems like all bloggers are called upon to answer the big existential question, ‘What's A Weblog?’’
    • ‘I'm not sure if Kelly is correct to call this the Church's ‘greatest existential crisis since the Reformation.’’
    • ‘According to Berman, brain images and models may skew and privilege model-friendly properties over existential characteristics of life and thought.’
    • ‘Finally, someone had brought up the existential question: for the brief time between Pac-Man disappearing from one side of the screen and appearing on the other, where does he go?’
    • ‘Rather than decide to actually cover this story of monstrous proportions, they resorted instead to bogus and pathetic bouts of existential soul-searching.’
    • ‘Consequently, in his exhibition, the art-work is not a scene of intimate significance, but a testimony of engagement with the crucial existential issues of its epoch and locale.’
    • ‘The young Scorsese depicts the sights, sounds and existential desperation of Little Italy's underworld, combining hardcore realism with a sense of subtlety bordering on the sublime.’
    • ‘As well as providing succour for those troubled by the existential dilemma, religion, or at least a primitive spirituality, would have played another important role as human societies developed.’
    • ‘Thus, myth is a kind of language made up of symbols whose referent is the sacred, and whose meanings are concerned with ultimate or existential issues of human life and destiny.’
    • ‘Instead, we are concerned with certain existential realities that confront us, and which will continue to confront us.’
    • ‘That manifestation of the changed existential condition took us unawares - as the change itself took us unprepared.’
    • ‘The existential condition of living in a body mediates our perceptual experience of the world.’
    • ‘By default, Giacometti's figures are read, even today, as symbols of the existential condition of humanity, a last-ditch stand before the void.’
    • ‘The problems are not only theoretical; they are existential.’
    • ‘We can of course make an explicit existential judgement which affirms the existence of the world, but in so doing we are merely making explicit what was there all along.’
    • ‘Although the figures are unmistakably American in appearance, their titles suggest general existential conditions.’
    • ‘This statement of existential purpose implies a domestic emphasis - that we must be prepared to fight significantly different kinds of wars from what we think of today.’
    1. 1.1Philosophy Concerned with existentialism.
      ‘The existential philosopher Martin Heidegger precedes Foucault in attempting to understand the historical conditionalitics of Being’
      • ‘As a statement of existential ontology this says nothing about which affective states are most prevalent.’
      • ‘She argues that Mary Daly, like Tillich, correlates existential questions with ontological/theological concerns.’
      • ‘So philosophers take the risk of nihilism and existential dread because the allure of wonder is too great.’
      • ‘Administrators were censoring existential themes out of student publications, while Francis was discussing Camus, Sartre, and Heidegger.’
    2. 1.2Logic (of a proposition) affirming or implying the existence of a thing.
      ‘Life after Rupert - soon to be 72 - may be the most existential proposition in business today.’
      • ‘Peirce aimed to extend Venn's system in expressive power with respect to the first two kinds of propositions, i.e., existential and disjunctive statements.’
      • ‘So, singular negative existential propositions are no less paradoxical than are general ones.’
      • ‘If Quine is correct, then we have a means of handling existential propositions that treats them neither as tautologies nor as contradictions,’


Late 17th century from late Latin existentialis, from existentia (see existence).