Definition of "essential" []

  • Constituting or being part of the essence of something; inherent. (adjective)
  • Basic or indispensable; necessary: essential ingredients. See Synonyms at indispensable. (adjective)
  • Medicine Of, relating to, or being a dysfunctional condition or a disease whose cause is unknown: essential hypertension. (adjective)
  • Biochemistry Being a substance that is required for normal functioning but cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore must be included in the diet: essential amino acids. (adjective)
  • Something fundamental. (noun)
  • Vitally important; absolutely necessary (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Basic; fundamental (adjective)
  • Completely realized; absolute; perfect (adjective)
  • (of an amino acid or a fatty acid) necessary for the normal growth of an organism but not synthesized by the organism and therefore required in the diet (adjective)
  • Derived from or relating to an extract of a plant, drug, etc (adjective)
  • (of a property) guaranteed by the identity of the subject; necessary. Thus, if having the atomic number 79 is an essential property of gold, nothing can be gold unless it has that atomic number (adjective)
  • Denoting or relating to a note that belongs to the fundamental harmony of a chord or piece (adjective)
  • (of a disease) having no obvious external cause (adjective)
  • (of a mineral constituent of a rock) necessary for defining the classification of a rock. Its absence alters the rock's name and classification (adjective)
  • Something fundamental or indispensable (noun)
  • An essential note (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "essential" in a sentence
  • "All the special interest mistresses are there - from Miss December the homemaker to Miss July, who gives a whole new meaning to the term essential oil."
  • "Although in strictly speaking, the term essential oil is in reference to the aromatic value of the oils alone."
  • "Those groups, he said, require what they call "essential" patents to be licensed on a fair and reasonable basis—which weakens their potency because holders of such patents can't ask for injunctions that would stop use of their technology altogether."