es·​sen·​tial·​ly i-ˈsen(t)-shə-lē How to pronounce essentially (audio)
: in essence : fundamentally
used to identify or stress the basic or essential character or nature of a person or thing or to say that a description is basically true or accurate
He's essentially a good man.
… painting, essentially a two-dimensional art …Herbert Read
The fact that so many bloggers are essentially anonymous allows them to spew rancor, rumor, lies, and obscenities.Gil Troy
Aphids feed on the sugary phloem of plants. Essentially they steal the product of photosynthesis.Caleb Rounds

Examples of essentially in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The comments come a few months after Butker gave a controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College that essentially said a woman’s sole career should be childbearing. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 July 2024 This rate is essentially the borrowing costs tied to purchasing a home with financing. Gabriel Cortés,alex Harring, CNBC, 13 July 2024 Biden faces essentially the same rejection among those who don't back him already, and the level of discontent with both candidates is remarkable. Gary Langer, ABC News, 12 July 2024 In areas of high demand, as all of New York City essentially is, building more housing across income strata — from affordable through luxury, with the right mix dependent on the surrounding neighborhood — lets people find new places to live instead of competing for the artificially low supply. New York Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for essentially 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'essentially.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of essentially was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near essentially

Cite this Entry

“Essentially.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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