not of prime importance; not indispensable.


an unessential thing; nonessential.

Origin of unessential

First recorded in 1650–60; un-1 + essential
Related formsun·es·sen·tial·ly, adverb

Synonyms for unessential

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

Examples from the Web for unessential

Historical Examples of unessential

  • It was like a woman, he thought, to fasten upon the unessential.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • As far as the teaching of grammar is concerned, it is unessential.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • In unessential matters he is ready to yield to the sentiments of his inferiors.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham

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

    The Enjoyment of Art

    Carleton Noyes

  • He likes to be consulted, and I pamper him as much as possible in all unessential details.

    Dear Enemy

    Jean Webster

British Dictionary definitions for unessential



a less common word for inessential


something that is not essential
Derived Formsunessentially, 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