essential - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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essential

adjective uk   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.
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essential

noun [C usually plural] uk   us   /ɪˈsen.ʃəl/
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)
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