Meaning of ESSENTIAL in English


— essentially , adv. — essentialness , n.

/euh sen"sheuhl/ , adj.

1. absolutely necessary; indispensable: Discipline is essential in an army.

2. pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.

3. noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.

4. being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous: essential happiness.

5. Math.

a. (of a singularity of a function of a complex variable) noting that the Laurent series at the point has an infinite number of terms with negative powers.

b. (of a discontinuity) noting that the function is discontinuous and has no limit at the point. Cf. removable (def. 2).


6. a basic, indispensable, or necessary element; chief point: Concentrate on essentials rather than details.

[ 1300-50; ME essencial essencialis for LL essentialis. See ESSENCE, -AL 1 ]

Syn. 1. fundamental, basic, inherent, intrinsic, vital. See necessary. 2. ESSENTIAL, INHERENT, INTRINSIC refer to that which is in the natural composition of a thing. ESSENTIAL suggests that which is in the very essence or constitution of a thing: Oxygen and hydrogen are essential in water. INHERENT means inborn or fixed from the beginning as a permanent quality or constituent of a thing: properties inherent in iron. INTRINSIC implies belonging to the nature of a thing itself, and comprised within it, without regard to external considerations or accidentally added properties: the intrinsic value of diamonds.

Ant. 2. incidental, extraneous, extrinsic; accidental.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .