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

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 share of businesses that allow nonessential international travel is up to 74 percent, a 26-point jump from February. Niraj Chokshi, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Fewer than half are always or often avoiding nonessential travel, staying away from large groups and wearing a face mask outside of their homes. Vanessa Hua, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Apr. 2022 The change, announced March 14, is the latest easing of travel restrictions by Canada, which originally closed its borders to nonessential travel after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Editors, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 After being closed for more than two years due to strict pandemic lockdowns, New Zealand's government recently announced a reopening for nonessential travel, essentially restarting the country's tourism industry. Rachel King, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2022 The borders between Mexico and the United States have reopened for nonessential travel and for people to be able to reunite with their families. Tommy Calle, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Some 73% of those polled said their companies were usually or sometimes allowing nonessential business travel. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, 17 Mar. 2022 In Tianjin, like in many cities, residents have been ordered not to leave for nonessential travel. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 The Arizona Department of Transportation recommended drivers avoid all nonessential travel in these areas until the storm cleared. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near nonessential



nonessential amino acid

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Statistics for nonessential

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nonessential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nonessential


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

More from Merriam-Webster on nonessential

Nglish: Translation of nonessential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nonessential for Arabic Speakers


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