in·​es·​sen·​tial | \ˌi-nə-ˈsen(t)-shəl \

Definition of inessential 

1 : having no essence

2 : not essential : unessential

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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

But what really keeps Luang Prabang so low-key is the perception, among travelers, of its being inessential; the town has become special because it’s not been considered special enough. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Luang Prabang Is the Ideal Southeast Asian City," 20 Nov. 2018 As an expansion of the Star Wars saga, Solo is absolutely inessential. Brian Raftery, WIRED, "Solo May Be Inessential, But It's Also Utterly Delightful," 23 May 2018 This applies of course not only to those women within the administration, but to the way women in general are perceived: As inessential blank spaces, their humanity and concerns easily erased. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Melania’s Recent Behavior Is Right Out of Hitchcock," 11 June 2018 There are a few stories in this ample collection that seem inessential, and Shriver’s fondness for abundance leaves a couple feeling a bit overstuffed. Stephen Mccauley, New York Times, "Money Can’t Buy Love, but It Can Buy Goods — and in These Stories, Lots of Trouble," 21 May 2018 But being inessential doesn’t make Solo a bad movie. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Solo: A Star Wars Story," 22 May 2018 Even so, what led up to the album is wholly inessential to absorb the shimmering, lovely and chilling music that resulted. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Love's 'Forever Changes': 5 Revealing Moments From 50th Anniversary Box Set," 12 Apr. 2018 Manet has eschewed furniture and everything else inessential. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Beauty in Full Bloom," 13 Apr. 2018 And considering all the inessential performances that the Grammys subjected viewers to this year, the show could’ve afforded to give Petty a lengthier tribute than just a few verses. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Brutally honest rankings of every 2018 Grammy performance," 28 Jan. 2018

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 1

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for inessential

The first known use of inessential was in 1677

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More Definitions for inessential



English Language Learners Definition of inessential

: not needed : not essential

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More from Merriam-Webster on inessential

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inessential

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inessential

Spanish Central: Translation of inessential

Nglish: Translation of inessential for Spanish Speakers

Comments on inessential

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having a pattern of small flowers

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