in·​es·​sen·​tial ˌi-nə-ˈsen(t)-shəl How to pronounce inessential (audio)
: not essential : unessential
: having no essence
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 In the civil case, Mr. Cohen was more of a peripheral witness, headline-grabbing but inessential to winning. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 28 Oct. 2023 Though the song’s title starts as a negative, describing Ken as inessential, the group elevates it to a chant of self-affirming validation, one that stops them from warring with each other and themselves. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2023 Perhaps that separateness accounts for its being so frequently omitted as inessential, although the loss seems drastic: in the Met’s persuasive and powerful new production, this prelude seems the indispensable glimpse of a world elsewhere, whose possibilities are never to be revisited. Geoffrey O’Brien, The New York Review of Books, 6 Apr. 2022 The painter removes everything inessential. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2021 Just ask any of the thousands of tech workers who were recently laid off because their CEO’s pet pivot-to-X project was deemed inessential. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 11 Mar. 2023 For anyone interested in Broadway trends, here is a remarkable example of how the rise of Audible and AirPods — and the huge popularity of stories playing in your ear — has made spectacle not only inessential but maybe even an unnecessary risk. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 9 Mar. 2023 Vegetable dishes are a welcome break to the meat-and-carb parade, but often inessential. oregonlive, 16 Dec. 2022 We are told again and again to put the most important point up front, instructed multiple times that headlines should have six words or less, and told ad infinitum that readers are too busy today to read inessential writing. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inessential.' 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

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of inessential was in 1677

Dictionary Entries Near inessential

Cite this Entry

“Inessential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on inessential

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