non·​es·​sen·​tial | \ ˌnän-i-ˈsen(t)-shəl How to pronounce nonessential (audio) \

Definition of nonessential

1 : not essential
2 : being a substance synthesized by the body in sufficient quantity to satisfy dietary needs nonessential fatty acids — see also nonessential amino acid — compare essential sense 2b

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Other Words from nonessential

nonessential noun

Examples of nonessential in a Sentence

All nonessential personnel had to be laid off. Please avoid all nonessential uses of water.
Recent Examples on the Web The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Traveling and worried about the coronavirus outbreak? Here are suggestions for staying healthy.," 1 Feb. 2020 Federal authorities have cautioned against nonessential travel to China. Anne Saker,, "Coronavirus: Face masks might help, but better protection comes with hand-washing," 31 Jan. 2020 Federal authorities have cautioned against nonessential travel to China. Anne Saker, USA TODAY, "Face masks offer little protection against coronavirus, flu, experts warn," 31 Jan. 2020 In addition to the standard sales tax, the state breaks out taxes paid on meals and autos, two categories that tend to show how freely consumers are opening their wallets for big-ticket and nonessential items., "But what’s in store for 2020? What signs can we identify to see how the drivers of the Massachusetts economy are performing?," 31 Dec. 2019 The restrictions also apply to nonessential water use by the city itself. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Residents, businesses asked to conserve water in Katy," 26 July 2019 The back of the Smart Display 7 is bare, except for where the power cord connects, another Lenovo logo, and a sticker with the device's serial number and other nonessential information. Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "Lenovo's Smart Display 7 has the looks to compete with Google's Nest Hub," 19 Dec. 2019 The officials also asked that nonessential work be suspended. Fox News, "Gaza militants fire rockets into Israel after Islamic jihad leader killed," 12 Nov. 2019 He closed state government for nonessential workers at noon. Washington Post, "Schools, offices close as long-lived storm clobbers US East," 2 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonessential.' 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 nonessential

1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for nonessential

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonessential was in 1751

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Statistics for nonessential

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonessential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for nonessential


How to pronounce nonessential (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nonessential

: not completely necessary : not essential


non·​es·​sen·​tial | \ ˌnän-i-ˈsen-shəl How to pronounce nonessential (audio) \

Kids Definition of nonessential

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not necessary We cut back on nonessential purchases.



Kids Definition of nonessential (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is not necessary There is no room for nonessentials.


non·​es·​sen·​tial | \ -i-ˈsen-chəl How to pronounce nonessential (audio) \

Medical Definition of nonessential

: being a substance synthesized by the body in sufficient quantity for normal health and growth a nonessential fatty acid — compare essential

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