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

During his testimony, White asked the USTR to remove greeting cards from the list of items to be taxed if the new tariffs are approved, saying the tariff creates an unnecessary burden for the greeting card industry. Maia Anderson, Cincinnati.com, "Trump tariffs threaten Mason greeting card company," 19 June 2019 These requirements can pose an unnecessary burden to those trying to enter an occupation. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Polis’ libertarian streak shows in his vetoes of three more occupational licenses," 7 June 2019 Friends of the deceased say the lethal force was unnecessary. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Man Fatally Shot By Passerby Was ‘Mentally Delayed,’ Friends Say," 6 June 2019 Lane sought a second opinion from attorney Richard Roberts, who said another referendum was unnecessary. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Newington residents sue town over increased town hall costs," 4 June 2019 At the outset, this type of legislation is wholly unnecessary. Monique Judge, The Root, "‘Protect and Serve Act’ Makes Police a Protected Class and Violence Against Them a Hate Crime," 8 May 2018 Their success in that regard is debatable; the coziest moment in the new production arrives in an unnecessary rendition of a Sara Bareilles tune. Mikael Wood, latimes.com, "J. Lo at 50: A-Rod, arenas and a surprisingly durable (even to her) career," 7 June 2019 My biggest peeve, however, is the ultra-bright and wholly unnecessary light on the handle. Christopher Null, WIRED, "Which Toothbrush Subscription Service Is the Best?," 6 June 2019 The look of disgust in Stevens’s face as Lowry calls him out for the unnecessary contact is particularly gross as well. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Is a One-Year Ban Enough for the Warriors' Part-Owner Who Shoved Kyle Lowry?," 6 June 2019

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

25 Jun 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 take the place or position of

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