Meaning of “essential” in the English Dictionary

"essential" in British English

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essentialadjective

uk /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/ us /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/

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

essentialnoun [ C usually plural ]

uk /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/ us /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/

(Definition of “essential” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"essential" in American English

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essentialadjective

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.

essentialnoun [ 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)

"essential" in Business English

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essentialadjective

uk /ɪˈsenʃəl/ us

very important or necessary:

Computer literacy is becoming as essential as the ability to drive a car.
an essential component/part of sth Selective expansion of our store base is an essential component of our long-term plan.
essential for sth Formulating new strategies is essential for preparing the corporation to meet and sustain future needs.
it is essential (that) It is essential our prices remain competitive.
it is essential to do sth It is essential to research and protect your patent.
essential to sth Knowledge, skills, and creativity are essential to creating high-value products.

essentialnoun [ C, usually plural ]

uk /ɪˈsenʃəl/ us

a basic thing that you cannot live or succeed without:

This leaflet will give you the essentials of how to use the word processor.
Goods that were once considered luxuries are now treated as essentials by many.

(Definition of “essential” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)