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[non-uh-sen-shuh l] /ˌnɒn əˈsɛn ʃəl/
not essential; not necessary:
Nonessential use of gasoline was forbidden during the war.
a nonessential thing or person.
Origin of nonessential
First recorded in 1745-55; non- + essential
1. unnecessary, incidental, extrinsic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for non-essential
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the sphere of the non-essential there is no law,—there you are free.

    The Essence of Christianity Ludwig Feuerbach
  • But was this frankness merely because she was dealing with what was non-essential to her?

    The Second Fiddle Phyllis Bottome
  • The visibility or the invisibility of the glory of God does not render it non-essential to him.

  • There was other happiness in the world besides the non-essential one of love.

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • He accordingly pronounced it to be non-essential to the validity of warrants.

  • We ignore this difference, psychologically, as a non-essential, mechanical one.

    Language Edward Sapir
  • So there was no elimination of the non-essential he could make there.

    Queed Henry Sydnor Harrison
  • Whatever is non-essential must be abandoned, no matter how attractive it may be.

    How To Write Special Feature Articles Willard Grosvenor Bleyer
British Dictionary definitions for non-essential


not essential; not necessary
(biochem) (of an amino acid in a particular organism) able to be synthesized from other substances
a nonessential person or thing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for non-essential

also nonessential, 1717, from non- + essential (adj.). Attested as a noun from 1806.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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non-essential in Medicine

nonessential non·es·sen·tial (nŏn'ĭ-sěn'shəl)
Being a substance required for normal functioning but not needed in the diet because the body can synthesize it.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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