(usually initial capital letter) Chiefly Architecture, Furniture.
a design movement evolved from several previous movements or schools in Europe in the early 20th century, advocating the design of buildings, furnishings, etc., as direct fulfillments of material requirements, as for shelter, repose, or the serving of food, with the construction, materials, and purpose clearly expressed or at least not denied, and with aesthetic effect derived chiefly from proportions and finish, purely decorative effects being excluded or greatly subordinated.
the doctrines and practices associated with this movement.
Psychology. the doctrine that emphasizes the adaptiveness of the mental or behavioral processes.
Sociology. Also called structural functionalism. a theoretical orientation that views society as a system of interdependent parts whose functions contribute to the stability and survival of the system.
An approach to architecture that adapts the design of a building or other structure to its future use. Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe were notable advocates of functionalism in the twentieth century.