essential - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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essential

adjective  us   /ɪˈsen·ʃəl/
extremely important or necessary: A knowledge of Spanish is essential for this job. Essential also means basic to the nature of someone or something: There is an essential difference between the two sisters in their approach to life.
essentially
adverb [not gradable]  us   /ɪˈsen·ʃə·li/
Essentially she’s saying that she is not interested in seeing you again.

essential

noun [C usually pl]  us   /ɪˈsen·ʃəl/
the basic things you need to live: The study estimated the cost of essentials for a family of four – its food, shelter, and clothing needs. Essentials are also the basic or most important part of something: the essentials of chemistry
(Definition of essential from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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