[ uh-sen-shuhl ]
/ əˈsɛn ʃəl /


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.
  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).


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

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for essentially

British Dictionary definitions for essentially (1 of 2)


/ (ɪˈsɛnʃəlɪ) /


in a fundamental or basic way; in essence

British Dictionary definitions for essentially (2 of 2)


/ (ɪˈsɛnʃəl) /



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

Medicine definitions for essentially


[ ĭ-sĕnshəl ]


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.


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.