What does existential mean?

Definitions for existential
ˌɛg zɪˈstɛn ʃəl, ˌɛk sɪ-ex·is·ten·tial

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word existential.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. experiential, existentialadjective

    derived from experience or the experience of existence

    "the rich experiential content of the teachings of the older philosophers"- Benjamin Farrington; "formal logicians are not concerned with existential matters"- John Dewey

  2. existentialadjective

    of or as conceived by existentialism

    "an existential moment of choice"

  3. existentialadjective

    relating to or dealing with existence (especially with human existence)


  1. Existentialadjective

    of or pertaining to, or having the character of, existentialism.

  2. Existentialadjective

    (Logic) specifying actual existence, rather than only possibility; as, the existential operator.


  1. existentialadjective

    Of, or relating to existence.

  2. existentialadjective

    Based on experience; empirical.

  3. existentialadjective

    Of, or relating to existentialism.

  4. existentialadjective

    That part of a sentence indicating existence e.g. "there is".

  5. Etymology: From existence.


  1. existential

    Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence. Existentialist philosophers explore the problems related to the meaning, purpose, and value of human existence, and personal agency. The individual person's phenomenological starting point is direct experience of life. The concepts of existentialism are existential crisis, a sense of dread, and anxiety in the face of an absurd world, authenticity, courage, and virtue.Existentialism is associated with several 19th- and 20th-century European philosophers who shared an emphasis on the human subject, despite often profound differences in thought. Among the earliest figures associated with existentialism are philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche and novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, all of whom critiqued rationalism and concerned themselves with the problem of meaning. In the 20th century, prominent existentialist thinkers included Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir, Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel, and Paul Tillich. Many existentialists considered traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in style and content, to be too abstract and removed from concrete human experience. A primary virtue in existentialist thought is authenticity. Existentialism would influence many disciplines outside of philosophy, including theology, drama, art, literature, and psychology.


  1. existential

    Existential can refer to a philosophical concept or a psychological state. From a philosophical perspective, existential relates to existentialism, a branch of philosophy concerned with the examination of human existence, meaning, and the individual's freedom and responsibility in shaping their own lives. It explores questions regarding the nature of existence, choice, anxiety, and the search for purpose and authenticity. In a psychological context, existential refers to an existential crisis or an existential state of being. This refers to a period or mindset in which an individual experiences deep contemplation, reflection, and questioning about the meaning and purpose of their life. It often involves an awareness of mortality, the uncertainty of the future, and the search for personal significance and value.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Existentialadjective

    having existence

How to pronounce existential?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of existential in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of existential in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of existential in a Sentence

  1. Lynn Bufka:

    The fear of death taps into one of our core existential fears, but you have to think about what your fear is, and how realistic it is.

  2. Joy Lee:

    The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time and requires bold and immediate action, which is why House Democrats have presented the most ambitious, impactful and forward-looking climate response in Congressional history.

  3. Joe Jones:

    Witch bottles are the type of things people would use more generally in famine, political strife or feeling under threat, the Union troops were definitely under all those kinds of existential threats or fears.

  4. Mariana Fulger:

    The soul sickens and heals the body, if it has sufficient existential motivation.

  5. Paul McCulley:

    I made the decision to step down from this position over the weekend after Bill resigned on September 26: The existential reason I took the job had left the building, today represents the implementation of that decision, reflecting sufficient passage of time not to be distractive of a firm that will always be special in my heart.

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Translations for existential

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"existential." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/existential>.

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    equally skillful with each hand
    A contiguous
    B defiant
    C extroversive
    D ambidextrous

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