What does essential mean?

Definitions for essential
əˈsɛn ʃəles·sen·tial

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word essential.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. necessity, essential, requirement, requisite, necessaryadjective

    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"

  2. essential, indispensableadjective

    absolutely necessary; vitally necessary

    "essential tools and materials"; "funds essential to the completion of the project"; "an indispensable worker"

  3. essentialadjective

    basic and fundamental

    "the essential feature"

  4. all-important(a), all important(p), crucial, essential, of the essence(p)adjective

    of the greatest importance

    "the all-important subject of disarmament"; "crucial information"; "in chess cool nerves are of the essence"

  5. essentialadjective

    being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc

    "essential oil"

  6. substantive, essentialadjective

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

    "substantive law"


  1. essentialnoun

    A necessary ingredient.

  2. essentialnoun

    A fundamental ingredient.

  3. essentialadjective


  4. essentialadjective


  5. essentialadjective

    Very important; of high importance.

  6. essentialadjective

    Being in the basic form; showing its essence.

    Don't mind him being grumpy. That's the essential Fred.

  7. essentialadjective

    Such that each complementary region is irreducible, the boundary of each complementary region is incompressible by disks and monogons in the complementary region, and no leaf is a sphere or a torus bounding a solid torus in the manifold.

  8. Etymology: From essentialis, from essentia.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ESSENTIALadjective

    Etymology: essentialis, Latin.

    The discipline of our church, although it be not an essential part of our religion, should not be rashly altered, as the very substance of our religion will be interested in it. Francis Bacon.

    From that original of doing good, that is essential to the infinite being of our Creator, we have an excellent copy transcribed. Thomas Sprat, Sermon.

    This power cannot be innate and essential to matter; and if it be not essential, it is consequently most manifest it could never supervene to it, unless impressed and infused into it by an immaterial and divine power. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    A great minister puts you a case, and asks your opinion; but conceals an essential circumstance, upon which the whole weight of the matter turns. Jonathan Swift.

    And if each system in gradation roll,
    Alike essential to th’ amazing whole,
    The least confusion but in one, not all
    That system only, but the whole must fall. Alexander Pope.

    Judgment’s more essential to a general,
    Than courage. John Denham, Sophy.

    The juice of the seed is an essential oil or balm, designed by nature to preserve the seed from corruption. Arbuthnot.

  2. Essentialnoun

    His utmost ire to the height enrag’d,
    Will either quite consume us, or reduce
    To nothing this essential. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ii.

    The plague of sin has even altered his nature, and eaten into his very essentials. Robert South, Sermons.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Essentialadjective

    belonging to the essence, or that which makes an object, or class of objects, what it is

  2. Essentialadjective

    hence, really existing; existent

  3. Essentialadjective

    important in the highest degree; indispensable to the attainment of an object; indispensably necessary

  4. Essentialadjective

    containing the essence or characteristic portion of a substance, as of a plant; highly rectified; pure; hence, unmixed; as, an essential oil

  5. Essentialadjective

    necessary; indispensable; -- said of those tones which constitute a chord, in distinction from ornamental or passing tones

  6. Essentialadjective

    idiopathic; independent of other diseases

  7. Etymology: [Cf. F. essentiel. See Essence.]


  1. Essential

    Essential is a 1991 collection of hits by The Divinyls.

Editors Contribution

  1. essential

    A fundamental form.

    The fundamental form of the system was created first and then the others mapped their systems into the whole.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 26, 2020  

  2. Essential

    A natural form.

    Wind is an essential form of the weather necessary to dry land, distribute seeds etc.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 26, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'essential' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1147

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'essential' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2350

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'essential' in Adjectives Frequency: #142

How to pronounce essential?

How to say essential in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of essential in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of essential in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of essential in a Sentence

  1. Tom Henderson:

    The Democratic voters in Iowa are eager for this to get started, many Democrats believe that a spirited caucus and primary season is essential to a successful Democratic presidential campaign in the fall of 2016.

  2. John Updike:

    The essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it.

  3. Eric Goldstein:

    These efforts really underscore, again, the Biden-Harris administration's focus on building back better and considering advancements in our country's infrastructure and our country's fundamental resilience to be a foundational step that we all must take together as we confront cyber threats that could compromise our most critical systems that are essential to US national and economic security.

  4. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon:

    Our latest Airseeker plane will be delivered next month, seven months ahead of schedule, and will be operational shortly after that in the skies above Iraq and Syria providing essential support in the fight against ISIL (Islamic State).

  5. Erin Kenney:

    Salmon contains omega-3 fats which have been shown to significantly reduce the risk for sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause mortality in patients with known coronary heart disease, these essential fats help by reducing inflammation in the body. If you don't like salmon, you may get the same benefits from a supplement based on a meta analysis that found fish oil omega‐3 supplements lowered risk for heart attack and death from coronary heart disease.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for essential

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • أساسيArabic
  • съществен, основен, необходим, важенBulgarian
  • essencialCatalan, Valencian
  • nezbytný, nevyhnutelný, nejpodstatnější, jádro, nezbytnost, esenciální, nepostradatelný, zásadní, podstata, esence, nejdůležitější, hlavníCzech
  • vigtigDanish
  • essenziell, notwendig, wesentlich, unentbehrlichGerman
  • στοιχειώδης, ουσιαστικός, ουσιώδηςGreek
  • esencaEsperanto
  • esencialSpanish
  • vajalik, olulineEstonian
  • tärkeä, olennainen, normaali, perusluonteinen, oleellinen, elintärkeä, välttämätön, tarpeellinenFinnish
  • essentiel, fondamental, indispensableFrench
  • deatamach, riatanachScottish Gaelic
  • pentingIndonesian
  • essenzialeItalian
  • חִיוּנִיHebrew
  • 肝要, 肝心, 不可欠Japanese
  • 본질적인Korean
  • essentialisLatin
  • essenzjaliMaltese
  • essensiellNorwegian
  • noodzakelijk, essentieel, belangrijk, onontbeerlijk, wezenlijk, echt, nodigDutch
  • essensiellNorwegian Nynorsk
  • viktigNorwegian
  • zasadniczy, niezbędny, podstawowyPolish
  • fundamental, essencialPortuguese
  • fundamental, esențială, importantă, esențial, de bază, important, necesarRomanian
  • базовый, фундаментальный, необходимый, существенный, важный, основнойRussian
  • bistven, nujenSlovene
  • essentiell, väsentligSwedish
  • அத்தியாவசியTamil
  • ముఖ్యమైనTelugu
  • สำคัญThai
  • істотнеUkrainian
  • יקערדיקYiddish
  • 必要Chinese

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    dark and gloomy
    • A. lacerate
    • B. inexpiable
    • C. tenebrous
    • D. dicotyledonous

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