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[fuhngk-shuh-nl] /ˈfʌŋk ʃə nl/
of or relating to a function or functions:
functional difficulties in the administration.
capable of operating or functioning:
When will the ventilating system be functional again?
having or serving a utilitarian purpose; capable of serving the purpose for which it was designed:
functional architecture; a chair that is functional as well as decorative.
Also, functionalistic. (of a building or furnishing) constructed or made according to the principles of functionalism or primarily as a direct fulfillment of a material need.
Medicine/Medical. without a known organic cause or structural change:
a functional disorder.
Compare organic (def 5).
pertaining to an algebraic operation:
a functional symbol.
Linguistics. (of linguistic analysis, language teaching, etc.) concerned with the communicative role of language rather than, in addition to, or as the framework for its formal structure.
Mathematics. a function that has a domain whose elements are functions, sets, or the like, and that assumes numerical values.
Origin of functional
1625-35; function + -al1
Related forms
functionality, noun
functionally, adverb
hyperfunctional, adjective
hyperfunctionally, adverb
multifunctional, adjective
nonfunctional, adjective
nonfunctionally, adverb
prefunctional, adjective
semifunctional, adjective
semifunctionally, adverb
subfunctional, adjective
subfunctionally, adverb
superfunctional, adjective
unfunctional, adjective
unfunctionally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for functionality
  • The free-flowing forms don't always match the functionality of more traditionally designed spaces.
  • Some of these extensions place little icons in your toolbar, giving you easy access to web applications and other functionality.
  • In many cases, the industry is driven by constantly increasing functionality.
  • Look good without compromising backcountry functionality.
  • The spacecraft's electronic components are checked for normal functionality before and after each run.
  • For the busy gamer they have an in-line mic with single button answer and hangup functionality.
  • BlackBerry browser is clunky to navigate and limited in functionality compared to others.
  • Increased expectations of electronic functionality also increases costs.
  • So it depends on your priorities-- aesthetics or functionality.
  • Historic commissions must be educated on the design, functionality and aesthetics of solar.
British Dictionary definitions for functionality


noun (pl) -ities
the quality of being functional
(computing) a function or range of functions in a computer, program, package, etc


of, involving, or containing a function or functions
practical rather than decorative; utilitarian: functional architecture
capable of functioning; working
(med) affecting a function of an organ without structural change
  1. relating to the purpose or context of a behaviour
  2. denoting a psychosis such as schizophrenia assumed not to have a direct organic cause, like deterioration or poisoning of the brain Compare organic psychosis
(maths) a function whose domain is a set of functions and whose range is a set of functions or a set of numbers
Derived Forms
functionally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for functionality



1630s; as a term in architecture, "utilitarian," 1928; see function (n.) + -al (1). Related: Functionally; functionality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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functionality in Medicine

functional func·tion·al (fŭngk'shə-nəl)

  1. Of or relating to a function.

  2. Affecting the physiological function but not the structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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functionality in Science
Affecting bodily functions but not organic structure, as a disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome. Compare organic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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functionality in Technology

Waffle for "features" or "function". The capabilities or behaviours of a program, part of a program, or system, seen as the sum of its features. Roughly, "the things it can do". Generally used in a comparative sense, e.g. "The latest update adds some useful functionality".

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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