un·nec·es·sary | \ˌən-ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē \

Definition of unnecessary 

: not necessary

Keep scrolling for more

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

The wrestlers, as well as athletes from other sports, said Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, conducted unnecessary, full-body physical examinations, inappropriately touched them and regularly watched them shower. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Allegations Complicate Rep. Jim Jordan’s Political Career," 11 July 2018 Training unnecessary & less susceptible to panic attack. Fortune, "Elon Musk’s Team Due in Thailand to Help Rescue Soccer Team Trapped in Flooded Cave," 7 July 2018 On the court record, Mitchell said Brents maintained his innocence and performed the volunteer work only to avoid a trial, which Mitchell said was unnecessary, and not to admit guilt. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "U of L signee Jairus Brents' shoplifting charge to be dismissed," 25 June 2018 Sizemore went out in a blaze of glory that seemed ... unnecessary, logically? The Atlantic, "Westworld: Is This Now?," 24 June 2018 This felt unnecessary, though Facebook holds on to your phone book partly to keep it synchronized with your contacts list on Messenger and to help find people who newly sign up for the messaging service. Author: Brian X. Chen, Anchorage Daily News, "I downloaded the information Facebook has on me. Yikes.," 12 Apr. 2018 Despite small elements of hamminess—some unnecessary slo-mo, some bad guitar solo in the soundtrack—Sacred Games remains throughout its eight episodes a highly distinctive cop procedural. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018 That represented an enormous amount of waste and unnecessary suffering. Eric Boodman, STAT, "Computers may surpass rabbits and rodents for some chemical safety tests," 11 July 2018 Bierhoff added that the pic caused a media storm for Ozil and unnecessary distractions for the team. SI.com, "Mesut Ozil's Germany Career Reportedly Over as Tensions Mount Following Controversial Photo," 10 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.

See More

First Known Use of unnecessary

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unnecessary

Share unnecessary

Statistics for unnecessary

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unnecessary

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unnecessary



English Language Learners Definition of unnecessary

: not needed or necessary


un·nec·es·sary | \ˌən-ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē \

Kids Definition of unnecessary

: not needed

Other Words from unnecessary

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!