Share this entry


Synonyms of essential in English:


  • 1 it is essential to remove all the old plaster
    crucial, necessary, key, vital, indispensable, needed, required, called for, requisite, important, all-important, vitally important, of the utmost importance, of great consequence, of the essence, critical, life-and-death, imperative, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory, compelling, urgent, pressing, burning, acute, paramount, pre-eminent, high-priority, significant, consequential
    [Antonyms] inessential, unimportant, optional
  • 2 the essential simplicity of his style
    [Antonyms] secondary
  • 3 he is the essential English gentleman
    ideal, absolute, complete, perfect, quintessential
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • 1 the gift of the gab was an essential for an up-and-coming broadcaster
    [Antonyms] inessential
  • 2 (essentials) they were taught the essentials of the job in three days
    essence, basis, core, kernel, nub, marrow, meat, crux, bedrock;
    informal nitty-gritty, brass tacks, nuts and bolts, ABC
    [Antonyms] minutiae
  • Choose the right word

    essential, necessary, requisite, indispensable

    Choose the right word

    essential, inherent, intrinsic, innate

    Definition of essential in:

    Share this entry


    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day fortissimo
    Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
    (especially as a direction) very loud or loudly