adjective \i-ˈsen(t)-shəl\

: extremely important and necessary

: very basic

Full Definition of ESSENTIAL

:  of, relating to, or constituting essence :  inherent
a :  of the utmost importance :  basic, indispensable, necessary <an essential requirement for admission to college>
b :  being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a quantity sufficient for normal health and growth and that must be obtained from the diet <dietary protein provides the body with essential amino acids> — compare nonessential 2
:  idiopathic <essential disease> <essential hypertension>
es·sen·tial·ly \-ˈsench-lē, -ˈsen-chə-\ adverb
es·sen·tial·ness \-ˈsen-chəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of ESSENTIAL

  1. As a fighter pilot, he knows that good vision is essential.
  2. Free speech is an essential right of citizenship.
  3. The essential problem with this plan is that it will cost too much.
  4. There's no essential difference between the two products.

First Known Use of ESSENTIAL

14th century

Synonym Discussion of ESSENTIAL

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character <conflict is essential in drama>. fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse <fundamental principles of algebra>. vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation <cut off from vital supplies>. cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends <a cardinal rule in buying a home>.



: something that is basic or necessary : something essential

Full Definition of ESSENTIAL

:  something basic <the essentials of astronomy>
:  something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable

Examples of ESSENTIAL

  1. <the essentials for success include a willingness to work and the right attitude>
  2. <this will be just an introduction to the essentials of computer programming>

First Known Use of ESSENTIAL

15th century

Rhymes with ESSENTIAL


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