Meaning of ESSENTIAL in English


I. i-ˈsen(t)-shəl adjective

Date: 14th century

1. : of, relating to, or constituting essence : inherent


a. : of the utmost importance : basic , indispensable , necessary

an essential requirement for admission to college

b. : being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a quantity sufficient for normal health and growth and that must be obtained from the diet

dietary protein provides the body with essential amino acids

— compare nonessential 2

3. : idiopathic

essential disease

essential hypertension

• es·sen·tial·ly -ˈsench-lē, -ˈsen-chə- adverb

• es·sen·tial·ness -ˈsen-chəl-nəs noun


essential , fundamental , vital , cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character

conflict is essential in drama

fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse

fundamental principles of algebra

vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation

cut off from vital supplies

cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends

a cardinal rule in buying a home

II. noun

Date: 15th century

1. : something basic

the essential s of astronomy

2. : something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.