ex·is·ten·tial (ĕg′zĭ-stĕnshəl, ĕk′sĭ-)
1. Of, relating to, or dealing with existence.
2. Based on experience; empirical.
3. Of or as conceived by existentialism or existentialists: an existential moment of choice.
4. 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.
An existential word or construction.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.