in·​es·​sen·​tial | \ ˌi-nə-ˈsen(t)-shəl How to pronounce inessential (audio) \

Definition of inessential

1 : not essential : unessential
2 : having no essence

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Other Words from inessential

inessential noun

Examples of inessential in a Sentence

he writes very spare prose, with nary an inessential word to be found
Recent Examples on the Web After months of lockdown, one of the top priorities for many people as restrictions are lifted might have been deemed inessential before but is increasingly becoming more essential for others. Rachel King, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: The beauty app connecting salons and barbershops with independent stylists," 22 June 2020 In March, when Cuomo ordered inessential projects to shut down, the workers had been about to laminate the dealership’s walls with Sheetrock. Elizabeth Barber, The New Yorker, "In New York, a Construction Company Creates a Blueprint for Reopening," 29 May 2020 Suddenly the idea of having a Council of Positive Male Role Models for my daughters went from being a quaint, inessential sidebar of my having cancer to an urgent necessity of growing up around noxious, outdated bro culture. Bruce Feiler, Los Angeles Times, "I lived my worst fear as a father. Here’s what I learned about surviving a crisis," 23 Mar. 2020 What was once necessary appears inessential; what was taken for granted, unappreciated, and abused reveals itself to be central to our existence. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, "The American Exception," 10 Apr. 2020 Kelly Takemura faced a different problem: as the pandemic spreads, who gets care and whose care becomes inessential? John Leland, New York Times, "She Had to Choose: Her Epileptic Patient or Her 7-Year-Old Daughter," 22 Mar. 2020 Little about the massive, coronavirus-wrecked, and inarguably inessential cruise industry is American. Maria Aspan, Fortune, "No bailouts for Bermuda and Liberia: Why cruise companies don’t qualify for coronavirus stimulus," 27 Mar. 2020 From Gibson’s pounding there-and-back-again story, meanwhile, Mendes takes the idea of constant movement, and stripped-down, against-the-clock racing, as the way to tell his story, with everything inessential pared away. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Little Women and 1917 Should Get a Joint Best Picture," 23 Jan. 2020 The video imagery seems especially inessential, distracting us from Édouard (Laurenz Laufenberg) by focusing on other cast members changing costumes or detectives dusting the crime scene for DNA. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Fleeing Home, but Not Homophobia," 18 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inessential.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inessential

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for inessential

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The first known use of inessential was in 1677

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Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inessential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce inessential (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inessential

formal : not needed : not essential

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More from Merriam-Webster on inessential

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inessential

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inessential

Spanish Central: Translation of inessential

Nglish: Translation of inessential for Spanish Speakers

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