Definition of functional in English:



  • 1Of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates.

    ‘there are important functional differences between left and right brain’
    1. 1.1(of a disease) affecting the operation, rather than the structure, of an organ.
      ‘functional diarrhea’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These four species, however, are the only cereals from which functional disease resistance genes have been isolated and characterized.’
      • ‘Persistent symptoms are often multiple and disabling and may be described as functional syndromes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The challenge is to reliably sift out and satisfactorily reassure the 40% with functional disease without missing those with more serious pathology.’
      • ‘Cardiac disease, including left ventricular structural and functional disorders, is an important and potentially treatable comorbidity of early kidney disease.’
      • ‘Patients with functional heartburn have symptoms that are typical of esophageal disease but that have no physical explanation.’
      • ‘In clinical practice, severe liver disease and celiac disease are probably the two most common causes of functional hyposplenism.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No patients were excluded on the basis of the type of structural or functional heart disease.’
      • ‘They may have functional dyspepsia or diseases such as peptic ulcer or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indeed, the histologic findings revealed less damage, suggesting better functional organ capacity in these animals.’
      • ‘Patients with predominant epigastric pain without peptic ulcer disease or oesophagitis have functional dyspepsia.’
      • ‘Amyloidosis is a functional disorder marked by unusual depositions of amyloid protein in various organs.’
      • ‘Malnutrition, typhus, tuberculosis, sepsis, and universal diarrhoea (probably functional rather than infective) were rife.’
    2. 1.2(of a mental illness) having no discernible organic cause.
      ‘functional psychosis’
      • ‘Of particular interest is the more controversial class of amnesic syndromes known as dissociative, functional, or psychogcnic amnesias.’
      • ‘Depending on which symptoms are apparent, delirium may be mistaken for a variety of disorders including dementia, mood disorders, and functional psychoses.’
      • ‘An estimated 4 to 7 percent of prisoners suffer from a functional psychotic mental illness’
      • ‘The highly influential psychiatrist and philosopher Jaspers listed the functional psychoses as schizophrenia, manic - depressive insanity, and epilepsy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This edition divides voice disorders into three causal areas: functional, organic and neorogenic, with a separate chapter on each.’
      • ‘Various prokinetic drugs might help in organic and functional dyspepsia.’
      • ‘Psychoses may be divided into two categories, organic or functional.’
      • ‘Insomnia may be functional, a signal that you need to attend to what got you up.’
      • ‘The main differential diagnosis of delirium is from a functional psychosis (such as schizophrenia and manic depression) and from dementia.’
      • ‘The cases have been described as either a ‘toxic psychosis’ or a functional psychosis.’
      • ‘In any case there were no discernible functional consequences associated with the removal of these amino acids.’
      • ‘This discussion focuses on the acute treatment of functional psychosis.’
  • 2Designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive.

    ‘she had assumed the apartment would be functional and simple’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This means that my bras tend to be functional rather than visually attractive.’
    • ‘Katy chose to focus on design, as in functional contemporary design rather than fine art and sculpture.’
    • ‘Gernon is attracted not only to its functional design but to its versatility.’
    • ‘According to a company press release, the site was chosen for its ‘simple, functional, yet elegant design’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Influenced by the avant-garde jewellery art scene in Germany, her designs go beyond functional accessory into the realm of individual self-expression.’
    • ‘Charlotte, on the other hand, has a clean and simple, elegant and functional design, that was highly usable.’
    • ‘With quality and functional differences among products largely having narrowed over the past decade or so, eye-catching design can be decisive.’
    • ‘It's an attractive and functional design and a excellent exemplar of public art.’
    • ‘For a web design to be amazing it has to be eye-catching, functional and practical.’
    • ‘The great variety of design and the opportunity to own a very attractive, functional tool also make knives highly collectible.’
    • ‘Each item is also faithful to a set of core principles including value for money, simple, functional design and basic, understated colour.’
    • ‘Its original simple black frame was more functional than attractive, and curators wanted a more appropriate treatment.’
    • ‘Simple in appearance and designed to be functional, the very first fabric awnings were only installed when and where they were needed.’
    • ‘That is, sites that are attractive, practical, functional, and interesting.’
    • ‘‘Gauche, perhaps, but practical, functional, and utilitarian,’ Saffron said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The design elements and functional characteristics of the product itself are just part of the overall marketing process.’
    practical, useful, utilitarian, utility, workaday, serviceable
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  • 3Working or operating.

    ‘the museum will be fully functional from the opening of the festival’
    • ‘The response to the scandals was a campaign aimed more at suppressing illegal abuses than at boosting the functional effectiveness of intelligence.’
    • ‘They are straightforward in nature and won't win any prizes for sophistication, but they are functional and effective.’
    • ‘Future examinations of behavioral and functional effects on reproduction will allow us to conduct better ecological risk assessments.’
    • ‘And Mr. Hogan, what you were saying that maybe 2005 or 2004, we might be functional, operating from our new site?’
    • ‘In fact, an attack may have no functional effect either - it may create directly an operational effect on the decisionmaker.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are many examples of organizations continuing to exist even where they are not particularly effective or functional.’
    • ‘The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is uninspiring, but completely functional and effective for a dialogue-driven feature.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The concept is to assure food safety through development, implementation, and effective management of a functional hazard control programme.’
    • ‘Long before we knew anything about the physical basis of heredity, factors or genes were identified in terms of their functional or phenotypic effects.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the vision that must develop has to be one that is functional and that is effective in a globalised world.’
    • ‘Cogently, it is important to indicate that effective leadership requires a functional working credo that is more appropriate for the years ahead.’
    working, in working order, functioning, effective, usable, in service, in use
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  • 4Mathematics
    Relating to a variable quantity whose value depends on one or more other variables.

    • ‘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?’
    • ‘His work on functions of a real variable include results on functional series, differentiability of functions and Baire's classification.’
    • ‘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.’