Definition of integral in English:



  • 1Necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental.

    ‘games are an integral part of the school's curriculum’
    ‘systematic training should be integral to library management’
    • ‘Records are an integral requirement for organic certification.’
    • ‘He says one of those ‘bite your thumb’ lines so integral to the whole adolescent love story.’
    • ‘Logistic companies now form an integral part of the supply chain of any efficient business.’
    • ‘Since 1921 artistic, photographic and written records have formed an integral part of the Air Force's heritage.’
    • ‘He was integral to the whole process and I'll probably vote for him in the final round of voting.’
    • ‘They seem to be thrown in as an afterthought, rather than as an integral portion of the story.’
    • ‘Limousines, luxurious hotels, fancy restaurants and trips to the recording studio are all an integral part of a popstar's life.’
    • ‘He said: ‘This is integral to us bringing the jobs we have promised so of course we want to see it go ahead.’’
    • ‘A telecoms worker, for example, is both productive in providing a vital service and is also integral to the handling of information.’
    • ‘Musically, it often has a really boring part but that part is integral to the chord structure.’
    • ‘‘I recognise that church and community halls are integral to community life and provide a social hub in a great many rural and urban areas,’ said Mr Howells.’
    • ‘Thus, they serve more as an accompaniment rather than an integral part of the book.’
    • ‘Reputations aside, looking the part has certainly been integral to this almost episodic drama, at least as it's unfolded in the media.’
    • ‘In 1989 John Williamson asked Pixie to back him in his live shows, and for the next five years, Pixie became an integral part of John's live performances and recordings.’
    • ‘He has the speed, patience and quick burst necessary to make the cutback runs that are integral to the offense.’
    • ‘It is also rooted in a people's culture, and integral to their structure of thought.’
    • ‘Producer John Simon was an integral part of the Band's classic recordings.’
    • ‘An integral part of any call center is its recording system: it is used for training agents, ensuring quality across a campaign, legal compliance and more.’
    • ‘Its core principle is that the teacher is integral not separate from his or her teaching, making the experience holistic.’
    • ‘The branches are not just appendages; they are integral to the whole.’
    essential, fundamental, basic, intrinsic, inherent, constitutive, innate, structural
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    1. 1.1Included as part of a whole rather than supplied separately.
      ‘the unit comes complete with integral pump and heater’
      • ‘It also includes an integral altitude warning system to avoid deviations.’
      • ‘Heat pump water heaters can be purchased as integral units with built in water storage tanks or as add-ons that can be retrofitted to an existing water heater tank.’
      • ‘Formerly a hotel, it has six en-suite bedrooms, four other bedrooms, an integral garage and, unusually, a recording studio.’
      • ‘I have a humongous bay window of gigantic proportions and my new curtains, once made up, will have cost me the slim sum of only £20 which includes integral linings.’
      • ‘This results in a heavier, stronger frame and also allows the use of an integral scope mounting system on the frame rather than the barrel.’
      • ‘Of the various firearms which include an integral lock, I know of none as neat and unobtrusive.’
      • ‘A future mission should treat a Mars lander as an integral part of the whole spacecraft rather than one of its instruments, the report said.’
      • ‘Exclusive detailing includes integral roof rails, a rear screen that opens independently of the tailgate.’
      • ‘Included is an integral belt, skid-plate chest covering, face/rifle scope veil and elbow/knee pads.’
      • ‘The barrel length is 19.8 inches including the well-designed integral muzzle brake.’
      • ‘The best option is either a pressurised system or a power shower, which is a mixer shower with an integral pump.’
      • ‘Set over three floors, including an integral garage, this newly built three-bedroom house is in Kemp Town, close to all of Brighton's action.’
      • ‘This then forms the cover, which includes both an integral hinge and a tear seam.’
      • ‘Outside, the property includes a double integral garage, a paddock, extensive lawns and a vegetable garden.’
      • ‘The integral power supply may be backed up by an external 24-volt DC supply, ensuring continuity of programming and easy mobile use.’
      • ‘First, since they're luxury seats, they have a lot of integral features including power lumbar control, seatheaters, and side impact airbags.’
      • ‘Scope rings to fit the integral receiver grooves are included with each T3.’
      • ‘The same has been known to happen with the small keys that operate gun locks, whether they are separate or integral.’
      • ‘The unit has an integral vacuum system that incorporates a turbomolecular pump as well as a backing scroll pump.’
      • ‘As a result, many major manufacturers are equipping their firearms with integral locking devices or including trigger locks with every firearm.’
      built-in, inbuilt, integrated, incorporated, fitted, component, constituent
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    2. 1.2Having all the parts that are necessary to be complete.
      ‘the first integral recording of the ten Mahler symphonies’
      • ‘Now, of course, the composer appears on even major labels with some regularity, and there have been several integral recordings of the symphonies.’
      unified, integrated, comprehensive, organic, composite, combined, aggregate, undivided, overall, gross, entire, complete, whole, total, full, intact
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  • 2Mathematics
    Of or denoted by an integer.

    • ‘He developed the relation between the algebra of matrices and integral equations as well as studying boundary value problems.’
    • ‘Another analysis topic he studied was non-linear integral equations.’
    • ‘Other topics he worked on include algebraic geometry, number theory and integral equations.’
    • ‘He was particularly interested in the courses in complex variable, integral equations and differential equations.’
    • ‘Under his guidance she worked on integral equations studying infinite dimensional linear spaces.’
    1. 2.1Involving only integers, especially as coefficients of a function.
      • ‘Some of them are about the theory of equations, others about integral functions.’
      • ‘While he was doing this wide range of work he was also proving some of his deepest results in the study of integral functions.’
      • ‘Barnes next turned his attention to the theory of integral functions, where, in a series of papers, he investigated their asymptotic structure.’
      • ‘To do this we make adjustments in the integral functions.’
      • ‘He received his doctorate for a thesis entitled 'Contributions to the theory of integral functions of finite order' in 1929.’


  • 1A function of which a given function is the derivative, i.e. which yields that function when differentiated, and which may express the area under the curve of a graph of the function.

    • ‘It describes the integral of the area and the angular extents over which a radiation transfer problem is defined.’
    • ‘In Appendix B, the formula for calculating the integral of a logistic curve is given.’
    • ‘Both the peak values and the integrals under the characteristic fluorescence curves were measured.’
    • ‘I remember feeling this way about derivatives (or was it integrals?).’
    • ‘Hence an awareness of the inverse of differentiation began to evolve naturally and the idea that integral and derivative were inverses to each other were familiar to Barrow.’
    1. 1.1A function satisfying a given differential equation.
      • ‘He showed how to find integrals of a general system of partial differential equations by using sequential complete systems instead of passing to Jacobian systems.’
      • ‘His work on algebra was an extension of Abel's work on algebraic functions and their integrals.’
      • ‘His first mathematical research was on analysis, in particular concentrating on integrals and solutions of differential equations.’
      • ‘An estimate of an integral of a function can be obtained with a Monte Carlo integration.’
      • ‘He wrote on algebraic integrals of certain differential equations.’


There are two possible pronunciations for integral as an adjective: one with the stress on the in- and the other with the stress on the -teg-. In British English, the second pronunciation is sometimes frowned on, but both are acceptable as standard


Mid 16th century: from late Latin integralis, from integer whole (see integer). Compare with integrate and integrity.