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[uhn-uh-sen-shuh l] /ˌʌn əˈsɛn ʃəl/
not of prime importance; not indispensable.
an unessential thing; nonessential.
Origin of unessential
First recorded in 1650-60; un-1 + essential
Related forms
unessentially, adverb
1. unnecessary, dispensable, unimportant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unessential
Historical Examples
  • The riming of the two former syllables is unessential, and for the purpose of rime, accidental and otiose.

  • Let it be my task to find it and to separate it from what is unessential and false.

    The Enjoyment of Art Carleton Noyes
  • My nature inherently loved importance and display, but I mistook the unessential for the essential.

    A Manifest Destiny Julia Magruder
  • He likes to be consulted, and I pamper him as much as possible in all unessential details.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
  • What he does not like is unessential, if not a positive misrepresentation.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • It was like a woman, he thought, to fasten upon the unessential.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • To all which questions, not unessential in a Biographic work, mere Conjecture must for most part return answer.

    Sartor Resartus Thomas Carlyle
  • In unessential matters he is ready to yield to the sentiments of his inferiors.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • The phenomenal side, the unessential in the substance, and the contingent in the necessary, are accidences.

  • It was one of her own offspring, only shorn of its unessential adornments.

British Dictionary definitions for unessential


a less common word for inessential
something that is not essential
Derived Forms
unessentially, adverb
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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