English dictionary

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English adjective: essential

1. essential absolutely necessary; vitally necessary

SamplesEssential tools and materials.
Funds essential to the completion of the project.
An indispensable worker.



Antonymsunnecessary, unneeded

2. essential basic and fundamental

SamplesThe essential feature.

Similarbasal, biogenic, constituent, constitutional, constitutive, life-sustaining, must, no-frills, organic, primary, staple, substantial, substantive, virtual, vital

See alsocrucial, important, important, indispensable, intrinsic, intrinsical, necessary, of import, primary, unexpendable

Attributeessentiality, essentialness

Antonymsinessential, unessential

3. essential of the greatest importance

SamplesThe all-important subject of disarmament.
Crucial information.
In chess cool nerves are of the essence.

Synonymsall important, all-important, crucial, of the essence

Similarimportant, of import


4. essential being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc

SamplesEssential oil.

5. essential defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by which rights and duties are established

SamplesSubstantive law.


Domain categoryjurisprudence, law

Antonymsadjective, procedural

English noun: essential

1. essential (object) anything indispensable

SamplesFood and shelter are necessities of life.
The essentials of the good life.
Allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions.
A place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained.

Synonymsnecessary, necessity, requirement, requisite

Broader (hypernym)thing

Narrower (hyponym)desideratum, must, need, want

Antonymsinessential, nonessential

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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