not necessary or essential; needless; unessential.

noun, plural un·nec·es·sar·ies.

unnecessaries, things that are not necessary or essential.

Origin of unnecessary

First recorded in 1540–50; un-1 + necessary
Related formsun·nec·es·sar·i·ly [uhn-nes-uh-sair-uh-lee, -nes-uh-ser-] /ʌnˌnɛs əˈsɛər ə li, -ˈnɛs əˌsɛr-/, adverbun·nec·es·sar·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for unnecessarily

optionally, uselessly

Examples from the Web for unnecessarily

Contemporary Examples of unnecessarily

Historical Examples of unnecessarily

  • "You are unnecessarily alarmed, my dear young lady," he said.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • The scout, entering, found a cheerful, unnecessarily large fire.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • She dismounted—lifted down (so unnecessarily it seemed) by the rogue.


    Christopher Morley

  • "I'm ready," he announced, rising from his chair so that he jostled Fulton unnecessarily.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.

  • Still, Louise had been alarmed, unnecessarily so, Mrs. Pennypoker had told her.

    In Blue Creek Caon

    Anna Chapin Ray

British Dictionary definitions for unnecessarily



not necessary
Derived Formsunnecessarily, adverbunnecessariness, 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 unnecessarily



1540s, from un- (1) "not" + necessary. Related: Unnecessarily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper