un·​es·​sen·​tial | \ ˌən-ə-ˈsen(t)-shəl How to pronounce unessential (audio) \

Definition of unessential

1 : not essential : dispensable, unimportant
2 archaic : void of essence : insubstantial

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Examples of unessential in a Sentence

don't pack any unessential items until we're sure we have room for everything we'll actually need
Recent Examples on the Web On Sunday, the government ordered unessential business to close and required people to practice social distancing in the city of 1.1 million people. Hau Dinh, Star Tribune, "Vietnam locks down its 3rd largest city as virus cases grow," 28 July 2020 Many of us who are not essential workers feel unessential, not to mention constrained, helpless, and weak. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "Watching Mad Men During a Pandemic: Betty Draper’s Time Has Finally Come," 30 May 2020 Others didn’t, leaving the workers vulnerable to getting cited for an unessential trip. Silvia Foster-frau, ExpressNews.com, "Texas farmworkers struggle without government aid and coronavirus protection," 24 Apr. 2020 No one knows how long the public will be urged to heed warnings to stay inside and avoid unessential travel. Chris Isidore, CNN, "$50 billion airline bailout won't be enough by itself to save US industry," 27 Mar. 2020 Last Friday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the shutdown of all unessential businesses and for 19.5 million New York residents to stay at home. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "Will your electricity bill go up if you’re working from home?," 26 Mar. 2020 There was half a day left before everything shut down at midnight, before everything deemed unessential was put into limbo by order of the state. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Some small Detroit businesses forced to close doors — and may never reopen," 24 Mar. 2020 The government hasn’t restricted travel to Wuhan but advises against unessential trips. Washington Post, "Unknowns of the new virus make global quarantines a struggle," 5 Feb. 2020 All frivolities, such as politics and culture, would be deemed unessential, and life would be rationalized and run on principles of industrial efficiency. Philip Delves Broughton, WSJ, "‘Digital Cash’ Review: Bitcoin and Beyond," 23 June 2019

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

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unessential

Time Traveler

The first known use of unessential was circa 1656

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Statistics for unessential

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unessential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unessential. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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