Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

essential

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of essential

  1. 1 impossible to do without <a well-stocked public library is essential for the well-being of a community> Synonyms all-important, critical, imperative, indispensable, integral, must-have, necessary, necessitous, needed, needful, required, requisite, vital Related Words prerequisite; compulsory, mandatory, nonelective, obligatory; consequential, crucial, important, major, material, meaningful, momentous, significant, substantial, weighty; basic, central, fundamental, key, organic; insistent, persistent, pressing, urgent Phrases of the essence Near Antonyms undesired, unwanted; inconsequential, insignificant, unimportant; excess, external, extra, extraneous, superfluous, surplus Antonyms dispensable, inessential, needless, nonessential, unessential, unnecessary, unneeded

  2. 2 of or relating to the simplest facts or theories of a subject <anyone with an essential knowledge of human biology can follow the documentary> Synonyms abecedarian, basal, basic, beginning, elemental, elementary, fundamental, introductory, meat-and-potatoes, rudimental, rudimentary, underlyingRelated Words primal, primary, prime, simple; crude, primeval, primitive, primordial, rude, uncomplicated; preliminary, preparatory; crucial, important, keyNear Antonyms complex, sophisticated; complicated, convoluted, detailed, elaborate, extensive, intricate; developed, evolved, high, higher, refinedAntonyms advanced

  3. 3 being a part of the innermost nature of a person or thing <an unquenchable belief in the essential goodness of most people> Synonyms built-in, constitutional, constitutive, inherent, hardwired, immanent, inborn, inbred, indigenous, ingrain, ingrained (also engrained), innate, integral, intrinsic, native, naturalRelated Words basic, deep-rooted, elemental, fundamental; congenital, hereditary, inherited, inmost, inner, interior; internal; characteristic, distinctive, peculiar; habitual, inveterate; normal, regular, typicalNear Antonyms alien, foreign; accidental, coincidental, incidental; acquired, adscititious; superficial, surface; exterior, externalAntonyms adventitious, extraneous, extrinsic




essential

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of essential

  1. 1 something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable <the essentials for success include a willingness to work and the right attitude> Synonyms condition, demand, must, must-have, necessary, necessity, need, needful, requirement, requisite, sine qua non Related Words precondition, prerequisite; advantage, edge, plus; desideration, desideratum, wish Near Antonyms amenity, comfort, extra, extravagance, frill, indulgence, luxury, superfluity, surplus, surplusage Antonyms nonessential, nonnecessity

  2. 2 essentials pl  general or basic truths on which other truths or theories can be based <this will be just an introduction to the essentials of computer programming> Synonyms ABC(s), alphabet, basics, elements, essentials, fundamentals, grammar, rudimentsRelated Words basis, bedrock, cornerstone, foundation, groundwork, keystone, underpinning; nitty-gritty; belief, canon, doctrine, dogma, faith, philosophy; axiom, law, precept, tenet; rule, standard; theoremNear Antonyms details, trivia




Learn More about essential


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up essential? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival vernal hiemal brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ