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. Andrea Azcarate-Peril:

    It seems that introduction of solid food for babies that were only breastfed was more tolerable, long-term studies are essential to confirm or not confirm these results.

  2. Melinda Mills:

    To understand why people don't wear face coverings it is essential to examine behavioural factors such as the public's understanding about masks and how to wear and re-use cloth coverings, what is clear is that it isn't the public's fault for not wearing masks in the UK. Rather, consistent policies and effective public messaging is vital, which have even differed across England, Scotland and Wales.

  3. Georgina Philippou:

    It is essential to consumer protection, market integrity and the prevention of financial crime that we can rely on firms giving us the right information at the right time, bank of Beirut's failings impeded us and left it open to the risk that it might be used for financial crime.

  4. Mason Williams:

    Adams was front and center critiquing (former NYPD Commissioner) Ray Kelly during the 'stop and frisk' controversy, and yet, on the other hand, he still views the NYPD as essential to the health of the city. And he's willing to put more resources into it, which separates him from the radical reformers who want to rethink what they see as over-policing. So that's why he comes across as complicated -- he's embodying these two legacies of the Giuliani and Bloomberg years that typically set people against each other in politics.

  5. Luis Buñuel:

    In any society, the artist has a responsibility. His effectiveness is certainly limited and a painter or writer cannot change the world. But they can keep an essential margin of non-conformity alive. Thanks to them the powerful can never affirm that everyone agrees with their acts. That small difference is important.

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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    relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area
    • A. occasional
    • B. profound
    • C. brilliant
    • D. urban

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