Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Latin, 17th century
Relating to existence.
Based on subjective experience.
Examples of Existential in a sentence
"An afternoon this hot poses an existential threat to any ice cream we buy."
"Teenagers often begin asking existential questions about the meaning of life."
“Existential” is based on the Latin “existentia,” meaning “existence.”
Did you Know?
“Existential” is most closely associated with the Existentialist movement in philosophy. Existentialism is fundamentally about seeking to determine meanings in human existence and can be summed up with the expression, “existence precedes essence.” This approach presumes there is no core essence to being alive decided before a person is born. Because of this, many existentialists believe meaning in life is created by maintaining high standards of ethical conduct, while fostering kindness to others. Though existentialism has often been associated with non-religious thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, there were also important Christian and Jewish existentialist philosophers, namely Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Buber.