AskDefine | Define essential

Dictionary Definition

essential adj
1 absolutely necessary; vitally necessary; "essential tools and materials"; "funds essential to the completion of the project"; "an indispensable worker" [syn: indispensable]
2 basic and fundamental; "the essential feature" [ant: inessential]
3 of the greatest importance; "the all-important subject of disarmament"; "crucial information"; "in chess cool nerves are of the essence" [syn: all-important(a), all important(p), crucial, of the essence(p)]
4 being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc; "essential oil"
5 applying to essential legal principles and rules of right; "substantive law" [syn: substantive] [ant: adjective]
6 absolutely required and not to be used up or sacrificed n : anything indispensable; "food 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" [syn: necessity, requirement, requisite, necessary] [ant: inessential]

User Contributed Dictionary



Adjectival derivation of essentia.


  • /ɪˈsɛn.tʃəl/, I"sEn.tS@l/


  1. A necessary ingredient.
  2. A fundamental ingredient.

Related terms


necessary ingredient
fundamental ingredient


  1. Being necessary.
  2. Being of high importance.
  3. Being in the basic form; showing its essence.
    Don’t mind him being grumpy. That’s the essential Fred.



  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (yàode); (quēde)
  • Czech: nepostradatelný
  • Dutch: essentieel, onontbeerlijk, wezenlijk, noodzakelijk, nodig
  • Finnish: olennainen, tärkeä, tarpeellinen
  • Polish: niezbędny
  • Slovene: bistven, nujen
of high importance
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (yào)
  • Dutch: essentieel, onontbeerlijk, wezenlijk, belangrijk
  • Finnish: olennainen, välttämätön, elintärkeä, oleellinen
  • Polish: zasadniczy
  • Slovene: bistven
in basic form
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (jīnghuáde)
  • Dutch: essentieel, wezenlijk, echt
  • Finnish: tavallinen, normaali
  • Polish: podstawowy

Extensive Definition

Series of Awesome features created by NLCF.
Bold text Essential or essentials can refer to:
essential in Japanese: エッセンシャル

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ab ovo, austere, axiom, bare, bare necessities, basal, basic, basilar, bedrock, bench mark, brass tacks, call for, called for, capital, cardinal, cardinal point, center, central, chaste, chief, chief thing, climax, condition, congenital, connate, constituent, constitutional, constitutive, core, cornerstone, crisis, critical point, crux, deep-seated, demand, demand for, desideration, desideratum, element, elemental, elementary, elixir, essence, essential facts, essential matter, essentials, flower, focal, focus, foremost, fundamental, gist, gravamen, great point, gut, heart, high point, homely, homespun, homogeneous, hypostasis, imperative, important, important thing, inborn, inbred, indicated, indispensable, indivisible, innate, inner essence, intrinsic, irreducible, irreductible, irreplaceable, issue, kernel, key, keystone, landmark, leading, life-and-death, life-or-death, main, main point, main thing, marrow, material, material point, meat, mere, milestone, monolithic, must, must item, necessaries, necessary, necessities, necessitous, necessity, need, need for, needed, needful, nub, nucleus, nuts and bolts, occasion, of a piece, of the essence, of vital importance, original, part and parcel, pith, pivot, plain, postulate, prerequirement, prerequisite, primal, primary, prime, primitive, principal, principle, pure, pure and simple, quid, quiddity, quintessence, quintessential, radical, real issue, required, requirement, requisite, requisition, right-hand, rudiment, rudimentary, salient point, sap, severe, simon-pure, simple, sine qua non, single, soul, spare, spirit, stark, stuff, substance, substantial, substantive, substantive point, the bottom line, the data, the details, the dope, the facts, the information, the necessary, the needful, the nitty-gritty, the particulars, the picture, the point, the scoop, the score, the specifics, the whole story, turning point, unadorned, uncluttered, underlying, undifferenced, undifferentiated, unforgoable, uniform, vital, want, wanted
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