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  1. a nonessential thing or person.

Origin of nonessential

First recorded in 1745–55; non- + essential

Synonyms for nonessential

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for non-essential


  1. not essential; not necessary
  2. biochem (of an amino acid in a particular organism) able to be synthesized from other substances
  1. 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

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

non-essential in Medicine


  1. 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.