un·​nec·​es·​sary | \ ˌən-ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce unnecessary (audio) \

Definition of unnecessary

: not necessary

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Examples of unnecessary in a Sentence

In this city, owning a car is unnecessary. Let's not take any unnecessary risks.

Recent Examples on the Web

Colbeck says the personal income tax rate can be gradually reduced from 4.25% to zero by cutting unnecessary spending, such as hundreds of millions of dollars in business subsidies handed out through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "He's Michigan's most conservative Republican candidate for governor," 11 May 2018 But the art of medicine calls upon us to be nuanced and possibly shield them from unnecessary pain. Angira Patel, STAT, "Is it ever OK for doctors to lie to their patients?," 17 Apr. 2018 The question at first seems unnecessary, but once pondered, leads to intriguing realizations. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 Critics also contend that the cost of creating the new weapons is ultimately unnecessary and wasteful. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Trump Administration Begins Production of New Nuclear Weapon," 1 Feb. 2019 As one person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports, it might be deemed unnecessary because of all the background work Paul, fellow Klutch agent Mark Termini and their associates have done leading up to this point. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "What the NBA Awards show taught us about LeBron James' free agent future," 26 June 2018 That criticism stems from what many see as an unnecessary and inappropriate edit that Kardashian West made to a photo of her baby daughter, Chicago West, cuddling with Kylie Jenner's daughter, Stormi Webster. Andrea Park, Allure, "People Think Kim Kardashian West Photoshopped Baby Chicago’s Hair and Face," 9 Oct. 2018 Critics, on the other hand, believe the new warhead is unnecessary and dangerous. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Submarines Will Soon Carry Tactical Nuclear Weapons," 26 July 2018 Republicans for years have called the treasurer's office unnecessary and a waste of money. Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Voters kept Wisconsin’s treasurer position but what’s next?," 6 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unnecessary

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for unnecessary

The first known use of unnecessary was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unnecessary



English Language Learners Definition of unnecessary

: not needed or necessary


un·​nec·​es·​sary | \ ˌən-ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce unnecessary (audio) \

Kids Definition of unnecessary

: not needed

Other Words from unnecessary

unnecessarily \ ˈən-​ˌne-​sə-​ˈser-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on unnecessary

What made you want to look up unnecessary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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