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essential element

noun
  1. biochem any chemical element required by an organism for healthy growth. It may be required in large amounts (macronutrient) or in very small amounts (trace element)See also macronutrient, trace element
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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