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

yo

used as an informal greeting between people who know each other or as an expression of approval

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More