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essential

[ uh-sen-shuhl ]
/ əˈsɛn ʃəl /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR essential ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective

absolutely necessary; indispensable: Discipline is essential in an army.
pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.
noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.
being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous: essential happiness.
Mathematics.
  1. (of a singularity of a function of a complex variable) noting that the Laurent series at the point has an infinite number of terms with negative powers.
  2. (of a discontinuity) noting that the function is discontinuous and has no limit at the point.Compare removable(def 2).

noun

a basic, indispensable, or necessary element; chief point: Concentrate on essentials rather than details.

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Nearby words

essence of bergamot, essene, essenes, essenian, essenic, essential, essential amino acid, essential dysmenorrhea, essential element, essential fatty acid, essential fructosuria

Origin of essential

1300–50; Middle English essencial < Medieval Latin essenciālis for Late Latin essentiālis. See essence, -al1
SYNONYMS FOR essential
2 Essential, inherent, intrinsic refer to that which is in the natural composition of a thing. Essential suggests that which is in the very essence or constitution of a thing: Oxygen and hydrogen are essential in water. Inherent means inborn or fixed from the beginning as a permanent quality or constituent of a thing: properties inherent in iron. Intrinsic implies belonging to the nature of a thing itself, and comprised within it, without regard to external considerations or accidentally added properties: the intrinsic value of diamonds.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for essential

British Dictionary definitions for essential

essential

/ (ɪˈsɛnʃəl) /

adjective

noun

something fundamental or indispensablea sharp eye is an essential for a printer
music an essential note
Derived Formsessentiality (ɪˌsɛnʃɪˈælɪtɪ) or essentialness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for essential

essential


adj.

mid-14c., "that is such by its essence," from Late Latin essentialis, from essentia (see essence). Meaning "pertaining to essence" is from late 14c., that of "constituting the essence of something" is from 1540s; that of "necessary" is from 1520s. Essentials "indispensable elements" is from early 16c. Related: Essentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for essential

essential

[ ĭ-sĕnshəl ]

adj.

Constituting or being part of the essence of something; inherent.
Basic or indispensable; necessary.
Of, relating to, or being a dysfunctional condition or a disease whose cause is unknown.
Of, relating to, or being a substance that is required for normal functioning but cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore must be included in the diet.

n.

Something fundamental.
Something necessary or indispensable.
Related formses•sen′ti•ali•ty (-shē-ălĭ-tē) null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.