English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Late Latin essentiālis, from Latin essentia (being, essence).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪˈsɛn.ʃəl/, [əˈsɛn.tʃəl]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: es‧sen‧tial

Adjective edit

essential (comparative more essential, superlative most essential)

  1. Necessary.
    Synonyms: indispensable; see also Thesaurus:requisite
    Antonyms: accidental, accessorial, incidental, unnecessary, unneeded
    • 1941, Theodore Roethke, “Feud”, in Open House; republished in The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, 1975, →ISBN, page 4:
      There’s canker at the root, your seed
      Denies the blessing of the sun,
      The light essential to your need.
      Your hopes are murdered and undone.
    • 2018, Clarence Green, James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, →DOI, page 105:
      Thus, research-based resources with the potential to assist teachers prepare secondary students for tertiary education are essential.
  2. Very important; of high importance.
    Synonyms: crucial; see also Thesaurus:important
    Antonyms: unimportant; see also Thesaurus:insignificant
    • 2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, in The Guardian Weekly[1], volume 188, number 23, page 19:
      In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. Essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax. […]
  3. (biology) Necessary for survival but not synthesized by the organism, thus needing to be ingested.
  4. Being in the basic form; showing its essence.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:intrinsic, Thesaurus:bare-bones
    Antonyms: adscititious; see also Thesaurus:extrinsic
    Don’t mind him being grumpy. That’s the essential Fred.
  5. Really existing; existent.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:existent
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:inexistent
  6. (geometry) Such that each complementary region is irreducible, the boundary of each complementary region is incompressible by disks and monogons in the complementary region, and no leaf is a sphere or a torus bounding a solid torus in the manifold.
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    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  7. (medicine) Idiopathic.
    essential blepharospasm
  8. Having the nature of essence; not physical.
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “In which Three Investigators Come across a Dark Soul”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      It is usually allowed that there is the natural body, as St. Paul called it, which is dissolved at death, and the etheric or spiritual body which survives and functions upon an etheric plane. Those are the essential things. But we may really have as many coats as an onion and there may be a mental body which may shed itself at any spot where great mental or emotional strain has been experienced.

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

essential (plural essentials)

  1. A necessary ingredient.
    Synonym: must-have
  2. A fundamental ingredient.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit