Definition of essential in English:


Syllabification: es·sen·tial
Pronunciation: /iˈsenCHəl


  • 1Absolutely necessary; extremely important: [with infinitive]: it is essential to keep up-to-date records fiber is an essential ingredient
    More example sentences
    • It is absolutely essential that the surfaces to be coated are extremely clean since the slightest contamination can ruin the end result.
    • And I think a name change is absolutely essential.
    • ‘It is absolutely essential to give all Canadians the chance to make the most of their abilities,’ she said.
    crucial, necessary, key, vital, indispensable, important, all-important, of the essence, critical, imperative, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory; urgent, pressing, paramount, preeminent, high-priority, nonnegotiable
    informal must-have
  • 1.1 [attributive] Fundamental or central to the nature of something or someone: the essential weakness of the plaintiff’s case
    More example sentences
    • No matter how far they run, the characters can never escape their essential natures.
    • But its essential nature remained unchanged: it was dumb hardware.
    • But, that is the essential nature of the intelligence business.
    basic, inherent, fundamental, quintessential, intrinsic, underlying, characteristic, innate, primary, elementary, elemental; central, pivotal, vital
  • 1.2 Biochemistry (Of an amino acid or fatty acid) required for normal growth but not synthesized in the body and therefore necessary in the diet.
    More example sentences
    • Key essential amino acids are valine, leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan and methionine.
    • Homocysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid produced in the metabolism of the essential amino acid methionine.
    • Carbohydrates are not a requirement for survival as are proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, or minerals.
  • 2 Medicine (Of a disease) with no known external stimulus or cause; idiopathic: essential hypertension
    More example sentences
    • He also had chronic obstructive airways disease and essential hypertension.
    • Investigations confirmed a diagnosis of essential hypertension and treatment was started.
    • Unlike Parkinson's disease, however, essential tremor doesn't lead to serious complications.


(usually essentials) Back to top  



Pronunciation: /iˌsenCHēˈalitē/
More example sentences
  • Perhaps the most important change needed in America's approach to nonproliferation enforcement is to accept the essentiality of organizing coalitions to deal with proliferation.
  • It is for this reason that Ms Chileshe advocates that the essentiality of indigenous knowledge systems be given a slot in the broad spectrum of modern environmental education.
  • There is a notion of museum essentiality that is by no means beyond debate.


More example sentences
  • Much has been said about the connection between his search for geographical belonging and his quest for essentialness in his poetry.
  • The minute tinkerings with curriculum that characterize most reforms in English departments do not convince administrators of the vitality of our field and its essentialness to the world of our students.
  • To believe that its catalog is merely a backward extension of Farrar's solo career is to sorely underestimate the essentialness of the three other musicians who made up the band.


Middle English (in the sense 'in the highest degree'): from late Latin essentialis, from Latin essentia.

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