Definition of functional in English:



  • 1Of or having a special activity, purpose, or task.

    ‘a functional role’
    • ‘They lacked almost any auxiliary and peripheral equipment not required for dealing directly with the functional tasks of a concrete command and control system.’
    • ‘Clinical activities may be best understood by delimiting functional tasks as the episodes of interest.’
    • ‘Both selenocysteine and selenomethionine can be incorporated into proteins, which may impair their stability and functional activities.’
    • ‘Essence is defined as the basic substance both constituting the human body and maintaining its functional activities.’
    • ‘He has a grasp of the functional role of a winger and how that fits into team play.’
    • ‘The functional significance of hemichannel activity in lens tissue has been ruled unlikely due to the apparent high impedance of lens fiber cell membranes.’
    • ‘In general, the high frequency of a null mutation may provide insights into the mode of selection as it relates to functional activity of a class of proteins.’
    • ‘Contemporary Islam doesn't seem to be concentrated in a specific social class, or have a particular functional role.’
    • ‘It relieves stomach irritation, gradually checking the frequency of the bowels, restores tone and functional activity.’
    • ‘If this is the case, changing the functional role of a digit pair for a given task would not elicit changes in motor unit strength.’
    • ‘They serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose.’
    • ‘How likely is it that these mutations in the nicotinic receptor genes completely eliminate the functional activity of the encoded receptor protein?’
    • ‘His main concern was to prevent war between states, and he proposed to do this by taking routine functional tasks out of the hands of national governments and giving them over to international agencies.’
    • ‘Effective management of her mood and anxiety related behaviours to reduce their impact on her functional activities’
    • ‘The first is to turn learning into an entirely functional activity geared towards the perceived needs of the workplace.’
    • ‘On its own, basis weight is a limitation without a functional purpose.’
    • ‘This nest has Easter grass interwoven among the twigs and dried grass - the waxy, green strands a contemporary twist to the functional purpose of its home.’
    • ‘For purposes of a functional self-esteem as an adult, I have chosen to forget the grades I received in the course.’
    • ‘Communications system for establishing a communication channel on the basis of a functional role or task’
    • ‘However, its circular nature, and the regularity of its rectangular western extension, indicate that it served more than a functional purpose.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to the way in which something works or operates.
      ‘there are important functional differences between left and right brain’
      • ‘The chemistry of feather-wax compounds suggests that they may have large functional differences.’
      • ‘Attachment was therefore sutural, causing the antebrachium to operate as a single functional unit, with no pronation or supination possible.’
      • ‘Since there are clear structural differences among mucous gels, we can begin to look at the functional significance of these differences.’
      • ‘There will continue to be a difference between functional interaction and entertaining communication.’
      • ‘The origin and functional significance of population differences in repertoire complexity in this species remain uncertain.’
      • ‘We do not yet have a full functional explanation for selection-dependent differences in feeding behavior.’
      • ‘This difference between the functional forms has important dynamical consequences.’
      • ‘We are currently investigating the functional consequence of these differences.’
      • ‘Biomechanical testing did not demonstrate functional differences.’
      • ‘The functional differences between the two genes are discussed with respect to their possible history in these two fungi, which are very distant in terms of evolution.’
      • ‘This finding suggests that functional differences in G-protein binding or activation may exist between the two opsins.’
      • ‘Only genomic DNA, however, can help scientists understand the functional differences between extinct and living species.’
      • ‘Although the two works share many formal aspects, there remain fundamental functional differences.’
      • ‘This functional grouping often operates at the expense of work flow coordination.’
      • ‘Conventional wisdom has it that there is a functional difference in the way males and females use their brains, and this may also apply to people of different races.’
      • ‘They have also examined executive functioning and functional hemispheric differences via event-related potentials in these subtypes.’
      • ‘This choice was made to maximize the functional conformational differences between the two states.’
      • ‘Indeed, their organisations have succeeded where most NGOs and voluntary groups usually fail: preserving functional unity despite differences.’
      • ‘However, biological networks can have differences in their functional states.’
      • ‘There are also some significant differences in putatively functional residues.’
    2. 1.2 (of a disease) affecting the operation, rather than the structure, of an organ.
      ‘functional diarrhoea’
      • ‘Patients with functional heartburn have symptoms that are typical of esophageal disease but that have no physical explanation.’
      • ‘Persistent symptoms are often multiple and disabling and may be described as functional syndromes.’
      • ‘Malnutrition, typhus, tuberculosis, sepsis, and universal diarrhoea (probably functional rather than infective) were rife.’
      • ‘There is good evidence for structural and functional diversity within a hepatic acinus, which is the smallest structural / functional unit in the organ.’
      • ‘Many patients with functional class IV heart failure are symptomatic because of inadequate diuresis.’
      • ‘Patients with predominant epigastric pain without peptic ulcer disease or oesophagitis have functional dyspepsia.’
      • ‘No patients were excluded on the basis of the type of structural or functional heart disease.’
      • ‘In clinical practice, severe liver disease and celiac disease are probably the two most common causes of functional hyposplenism.’
      • ‘These four species, however, are the only cereals from which functional disease resistance genes have been isolated and characterized.’
      • ‘Although IBS is a functional disease, it not only causes physical suffering but also has a great impact on people's quality of life.’
      • ‘Age at disease onset and functional class were the strongest independent predictors of survival.’
      • ‘Cardiac disease, including left ventricular structural and functional disorders, is an important and potentially treatable comorbidity of early kidney disease.’
      • ‘Indeed, the histologic findings revealed less damage, suggesting better functional organ capacity in these animals.’
      • ‘The challenge is to reliably sift out and satisfactorily reassure the 40% with functional disease without missing those with more serious pathology.’
      • ‘Reveal tumors and functional disorders in organs such as the lungs, liver, pancreas, kidney and spleen’
      • ‘It also can be used to treat functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia.’
      • ‘They may have functional dyspepsia or diseases such as peptic ulcer or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.’
      • ‘Heart failure is a complex syndrome that results from any structural or functional cardiac disorder that impairs the ability of the heart to function as a pump.’
      • ‘The worth of the person is not affected by disease, disability, functional status, or proximity to death.’
      • ‘Amyloidosis is a functional disorder marked by unusual depositions of amyloid protein in various organs.’
    3. 1.3 (of a mental illness) having no discernible organic cause.
      ‘functional psychosis’
      • ‘The main differential diagnosis of delirium is from a functional psychosis (such as schizophrenia and manic depression) and from dementia.’
      • ‘This discussion focuses on the acute treatment of functional psychosis.’
      • ‘An estimated 4 to 7 percent of prisoners suffer from a functional psychotic mental illness’
      • ‘Depending on which symptoms are apparent, delirium may be mistaken for a variety of disorders including dementia, mood disorders, and functional psychoses.’
      • ‘Various prokinetic drugs might help in organic and functional dyspepsia.’
      • ‘Psychoses may be divided into two categories, organic or functional.’
      • ‘In any case there were no discernible functional consequences associated with the removal of these amino acids.’
      • ‘The highly influential psychiatrist and philosopher Jaspers listed the functional psychoses as schizophrenia, manic - depressive insanity, and epilepsy.’
      • ‘Insomnia may be functional, a signal that you need to attend to what got you up.’
      • ‘The cases have been described as either a ‘toxic psychosis’ or a functional psychosis.’
      • ‘This edition divides voice disorders into three causal areas: functional, organic and neorogenic, with a separate chapter on each.’
      • ‘Physicians would note amnesia in a chart and try to determine whether the amnesia was organic or functional.’
      • ‘It's a deep vein of functional psychosis in my family.’
      • ‘Of particular interest is the more controversial class of amnesic syndromes known as dissociative, functional, or psychogcnic amnesias.’
  • 2Designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive.

    ‘a small, functional bathroom’
    • ‘This means that my bras tend to be functional rather than visually attractive.’
    • ‘Simple in appearance and designed to be functional, the very first fabric awnings were only installed when and where they were needed.’
    • ‘There are no flashy lights or LED's so if this is something you are looking for, look elsewhere; the unit is designed to be functional and simple above all else.’
    • ‘In fact, you don't need a book collection at all, since these functional and attractive ladders are every bit as useful in the kitchen, den, home office or even the garage.’
    • ‘The great variety of design and the opportunity to own a very attractive, functional tool also make knives highly collectible.’
    • ‘The design elements and functional characteristics of the product itself are just part of the overall marketing process.’
    • ‘According to a company press release, the site was chosen for its ‘simple, functional, yet elegant design’.’
    • ‘Influenced by the avant-garde jewellery art scene in Germany, her designs go beyond functional accessory into the realm of individual self-expression.’
    • ‘Gernon is attracted not only to its functional design but to its versatility.’
    • ‘With quality and functional differences among products largely having narrowed over the past decade or so, eye-catching design can be decisive.’
    • ‘But like all good design, it is functional as well, with training and conference suites as well as office accommodation, a library, an organic café and a retail area.’
    • ‘Its original simple black frame was more functional than attractive, and curators wanted a more appropriate treatment.’
    • ‘Once again, Pearl Izumi has designed a functional and attractive article of clothing that is not only great on the bike but in other uses as well.’
    • ‘That is, sites that are attractive, practical, functional, and interesting.’
    • ‘Charlotte, on the other hand, has a clean and simple, elegant and functional design, that was highly usable.’
    • ‘The plain, yet functional, robot design had been wholly transformed into a work of art that even the greatest masters would weep at the sight of.’
    • ‘It's an attractive and functional design and a excellent exemplar of public art.’
    • ‘Katy chose to focus on design, as in functional contemporary design rather than fine art and sculpture.’
    • ‘For a web design to be amazing it has to be eye-catching, functional and practical.’
    • ‘Each item is also faithful to a set of core principles including value for money, simple, functional design and basic, understated colour.’
    • ‘‘Gauche, perhaps, but practical, functional, and utilitarian,’ Saffron said.’
    practical, useful, utilitarian, utility, workaday, serviceable
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  • 3In operation; working.

    ‘the museum will be fully functional from the opening of the festival’
    • ‘Cogently, it is important to indicate that effective leadership requires a functional working credo that is more appropriate for the years ahead.’
    • ‘And Mr. Hogan, what you were saying that maybe 2005 or 2004, we might be functional, operating from our new site?’
    • ‘In this experimental study, the effect of a functional approach to grammar teaching is examined in the context of French immersion classes at the grade 6 level.’
    • ‘Eric works hard to keep the site not just functional and operating, but to make sure it thrives and is a viable source of information, as well as a medium for all the writers to reach a variety of readers.’
    • ‘They are straightforward in nature and won't win any prizes for sophistication, but they are functional and effective.’
    • ‘The response to the scandals was a campaign aimed more at suppressing illegal abuses than at boosting the functional effectiveness of intelligence.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the contrast between this flamboyant style and some of the more functional, if effective, tactics employed by Europe's top sides.’
    • ‘Long before we knew anything about the physical basis of heredity, factors or genes were identified in terms of their functional or phenotypic effects.’
    • ‘In fact, an attack may have no functional effect either - it may create directly an operational effect on the decisionmaker.’
    • ‘There are many examples of organizations continuing to exist even where they are not particularly effective or functional.’
    • ‘The concept is to assure food safety through development, implementation, and effective management of a functional hazard control programme.’
    • ‘Future examinations of behavioral and functional effects on reproduction will allow us to conduct better ecological risk assessments.’
    • ‘While the department was fully functional, operating with five pharmacists, Lochan said as of yesterday, a vacancy was created when a member of staff went on extended leave.’
    • ‘And the vision that must develop has to be one that is functional and that is effective in a globalised world.’
    • ‘The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is uninspiring, but completely functional and effective for a dialogue-driven feature.’
    working, in working order, functioning, effective, usable, in service, in use
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  • 4Mathematics
    Relating to a variable quantity whose value depends upon one or more other variables.

    ‘using functional notation, we can write—where L is the transactions demand for money’
    • ‘He did publish a number of papers, however, which arose through the various courses such as algebraic topology, functional analysis, and geometry, which he taught.’
    • ‘In 1823 Abel published papers on functional equations and integrals in a new scientific journal started up by Hansteen.’
    • ‘His work on functions of a real variable include results on functional series, differentiability of functions and Baire's classification.’
    • ‘The author has succeeded in writing a book understandable to readers with very little knowledge of functional analysis and topological vector spaces.’
    • ‘How can we relate complex analysis, higher-dimensional geometry, functional analysis, and set theory to the forms of perception?’