Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or dealing with existence.
  • adj. Based on experience; empirical.
  • adj. Of or as conceived by existentialism or existentialists: an existential moment of choice.
  • adj. Linguistics Of or relating to a construction or part of a construction that indicates existence, as the words there is in the sentence There is a cat on the mat.
  • n. Linguistics An existential word or construction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to existence.
  • adj. Based on experience; empirical.
  • adj. Of, or relating to existentialism.
  • adj. That part of a sentence indicating existence e.g. "there is".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having existence.
  • adj. of or pertaining to, or having the character of, existentialism.
  • adj. specifying actual existence, rather than only possibility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or consisting in existence; ontological.
  • Expressing or stating the fact of existence.
  • Pertaining to external and accidental characters.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or dealing with existence (especially with human existence)
  • adj. derived from experience or the experience of existence
  • adj. of or as conceived by existentialism

Etymologies

From Old French existence. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He did not specifically mention Iran, but the use of the phrase "existential threat" in Israel generally refers to Iran.

    USATODAY.com Feed

  • He also received standing ovations by citing what he called existential threats posed to Israel by Iran's nuclear program and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which the U.S. designates a terrorist group.

    Obama Shifts Tone on Israel Borders

  • I caught up again recently with digital pioneer and media contrarian Jeff Einstein of the Brothers Einstein, and we discussed what he describes as the existential crisis in the commercial media channels today.

    Forbes.com: News

  • Similarly, "Laura No. 1" 2009 stares at her image in the mirror with an expression of existential questioning as she considers what to do next.

    On the Beaten Path, Prepping for War

  • Where it asserts that the order inherent in existential reality is "so profound" that one "can see that it is the handiwork of God," this is at root a valid description of human responses to complexity: as one becomes cognizant of higher and higher degrees of order one is quite likely to experience a higher and higher conviction that this order is the result of deliberate design.

    Towards a Lexicon of Folly: Factard

  • The teleological argument is implicit: to observe the complex order evident in existential reality is, in and of itself, the decisive action of verification; such complex order can only arise from design, so to establish the epistemic certainty of such complex order is to establish the epistemic certainty of the action of design having been carried out by a designing agency.

    Towards a Lexicon of Folly: Factard

  • It is to say that the complex order evident in existential reality is a product of deliberate design carried out by an Absolute Deity as named and characterized in a specific religious belief-system.

    Towards a Lexicon of Folly: Factard

  • The specific version that I have described is known as the existential security hypothesis.

    Nigel Barber: When Will Atheism Prevail Over Religion?

  • On one level, this tale of a woman who leaves her home and family on the outskirts of London to lose and find herself is a classic study in existential isolation, a subject dear to the hearts of British playwrights.

    London Theater Journal: Halfway Into a Month of Plays, a Rich “Harper Regan” - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • If the name checking of prominent figures in existential philosophy hasn't clued you in to what kind of a film you're in for, then this may not be the movie for you.

    Jaq's Review: Zombie Strippers - Everything and the Pole! « FirstShowing.net

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