Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “essential”

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.

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 use the word processor.
(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

first:

(a person or thing) coming before all others in order, time, amount, quality, or importance

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More