Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “essential”

See all translations

essential

adjective uk   /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/ us  
B1 necessary or needed: Government support will be essential if the project is to succeed. There is essential work to be done before the building can be re-occupied. Water is essential for/to living things. It is essential (that) our prices remain competitive. [+ to infinitive] For the experiment to be valid, it is essential to record the data accurately.
More examples

essential

noun [C usually plural] uk   /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/ us  
a basic thing that you cannot live without: Because I live in a remote village, I regard my car as an essential. When we go on holiday, we only take the bare essentials. This leaflet will give you the essentials of how to prepare for a hurricane.
(Definition of essential from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of essential?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “essential”

Definitions of “essential” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hyphen

the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More