• WordNet 3.6
    • adj essential defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by which rights and duties are established "substantive law"
    • adj essential basic and fundamental "the essential feature"
    • adj essential of the greatest importance "the all-important subject of disarmament","crucial information","in chess cool nerves are of the essence"
    • adj essential absolutely necessary; vitally necessary "essential tools and materials","funds essential to the completion of the project","an indispensable worker"
    • adj essential being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc "essential oil"
    • n essential anything indispensable "food and shelter are necessities of life","the essentials of the good life","allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions","a place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Fleas are essential to the health of armadillos and hedgehogs; they provide necessary stimulation of the skin. Deloused armadillos and hedgehogs will die.
    • Essential Belonging to the essence, or that which makes an object, or class of objects, what it is. "Majestic as the voice sometimes became, there was forever in it an essential character of plaintiveness."
    • Essential Containing the essence or characteristic portion of a substance, as of a plant; highly rectified; pure; hence, unmixed; as, an essential oil. "Mine own essential horror."
    • Essential Existence; being.
    • Essential Hence, really existing; existent. "Is it true, that thou art but a name,
      And no essential thing?"
    • Essential (Med) Idiopathic; independent of other diseases.
    • Essential Important in the highest degree; indispensable to the attainment of an object; indispensably necessary. "Judgment's more essential to a general
      Than courage."
      "How to live? -- that is the essential question for us."
    • Essential (Mus) Necessary; indispensable; -- said of those tones which constitute a chord, in distinction from ornamental or passing tones.
    • Essential That which is essential; first or constituent principle; as, the essentials of religion.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In Italy, espresso is considered so essential to daily life that the price is regulated by the government.
    • essential Involved in the essence, definition, or nature of a thing or of a word: as, an essential character; an essential quality.
    • essential Constituting or making that which is characteristic or most important in a thing; fundamental; indispensable: as, an essential feature of Shakspere's style.
    • essential Specifically, in medicine, idiopathic, not symptomatic merely.
    • essential Pertaining to or proceeding from an essence; of the nature of an essence or extract.
    • n essential Existence; being.
    • n essential A fundamental or constituent principle; a distinguishing characteristic.
    • essential In geology, noting those minerals of any species of rock which establish its character and which must be mentioned in its definition: contrasted with accessory.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It was the law in Scotland in 1288 that for each year known as "lepe yeare" any maiden lady could ask the man she liked to be her husband. If he refused and didn't have a good excuse he would be "mulcted of ye sum of one pound or less" (essentially, he would owe her a dollar). France enacted a similar law a year later.
    • adj Essential relating to or containing the essence: necessary to the existence of a thing: indispensable or important in the highest degree: highly rectified: pure
    • ***


  • Antoine De Saint-Exupery
    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.”
  • Aristotle
    “Friendship is essentially a partnership.”
  • Dr. William Glasser
    Dr. William Glasser
    “Everybody needs one essential friend.”
  • Les Brown
    “Choosing goals that are important to you is one of the most essential things you can do in order to live your dreams.”
  • Joseph Addison
    “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. essentiel,. See Essence
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. essentiaessens, -entis, assumed pr.p. of esse, to be.


In literature:

Baptism "into the death of Christ" is often specified by the Armenian fathers as that which alone was essential.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
M. M. Balsams, essential oil, asparagus, rhubarb, a blister.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
The possession of such a power is essential to their existence.
"Popular Education" by Ira Mayhew
Accustomed to link "empire" with "emperor," they conceive of a supreme hereditary ruler as an essential part of imperial life.
"The American Empire" by Scott Nearing
For the basis of a universal fact of human experience we naturally seek a universal or essential element of human thought.
"Introduction to the History of Religions" by Crawford Howell Toy
The Lake Superior iron ores are essentially residual concentrations in place.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith
Jesus revealed essentially a spiritual philosophy of life.
"The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit" by Ralph Waldo Trine
The maintenance of a high ethical standard is essential to the establishment and continuance of mutual confidence.
"Sound Military Decision" by U.s. Naval War College
We draw the important inference that there is no essential antithesis between liberty and law.
"Liberalism" by L. T. Hobhouse
A uniform rate of advance in the whole mechanism is an essential condition of complete security.
"Cavalry in Future Wars" by Frederick von Bernhardi

In poetry:

That is essential, as will soon appear,
Lay here thine hand, which cold night dews anoint,
Washing its white--
"The Pierrot Of The Minute" by Ernest Christopher Dowson
What matter if the gains are small
That life's essential wants supply?
Your homestead's title gives you all
That idle wealth can buy.
"The Homestead" by John Greenleaf Whittier
In subtle and essential ways,
Rich with innumerable days,
To mould, to charge, to impel me still,
Each through my broadest being plays.
"“II” from Life’s Testament" by William Baylebridge
"The beings of the mind are not of clay;
Essentially immortal, they create
And multiply in us a brigher ray,
And more beloved existence."—Childe Harold
"Books" by Alexander Anderson
You join a Party, first of all -
This move is most essential.
Your Private Views you must recall,
They're quite unconsequential;
For if you'd be a Party Man
You must cleave to the Party Plan.
"Politics for Tots: Lesson 2~ “The Party”" by C J Dennis
Saviour, at peace in thy perfect purity,
Think what it is, not to be pure!
Strong in thy love's essential security,
Think upon those who are never secure.
Full fill my soul with the light of thy purity:
Fold me in love's security.
"Contrition" by George MacDonald

In news:

Effective communication is essential to every organization and relationship.
Both men are well versed in a field in which a "game playing" mentality is essential: To make computers more secure, one must first be able to understand how to break into them.
Entering his third season with the Jazz, Jefferson said he returned essentially in the same physical condition as the end of last season.
His death was the result of a senseless and tragic act of violence against a physician who provided an essential service in his rural community.
Grainger Adds Essential Condor Fall Protection Products to Offering.
Networks are an essential part of our lives.
Besides stocking such essentials as pet food and toothpaste, this urbane market includes a big wine department, a selection of food-fashionable gifts, and a well-stocked deli overseen by an in-house chef.
The chemistry of essential oils.
Restless is a self-consciously quirky coming-of-age tale that's essentially a teenage hipster Love Story.
Since many consumers essentially view it as a "free" resource, man.
Planners Wary of College's Expansion, But Cooper Union Calls It Essential.
Watch as Anna and Kristina test this kitchen essential in their search for the perfect corkscrew.
Watch as Anna and Kristina test this kitchen essential in their search for the perfect corkscrew .
Essentially, it was a form of voter suppression, as a write-in candidate has to be registered with the Secretary of State.
His triumphs were essentially triumphs of character.

In science:

Previous experiments with reactor neutrinos as well as on-site measurements indicate that γ and neutron background associated with “reactor-ON” are essentially zero outside the reactor core and within reasonable shieldings.
A CsI(Tl) Scintillating Crystal Detector for the Studies of Low Energy Neutrino Interactions
The Szeg¨o kernel is essentially the orthogonal pro jection from L2(M , LN ) → H 0 J (M , LN ).
Universality and scaling of zeros on symplectic manifolds
As will be seen in §2.3, it is essentially the Szeg¨o kernel of the Heisenberg group.
Universality and scaling of zeros on symplectic manifolds
The exact relationship for the pseudospin symmetry violating part of the scattering amplitude differs in an essential way from the first-order expression used by Ginocchio .
Violation of pseudospin symmetry in nucleon-nucleus scattering: exact relations
In [Ma] (Theorem 12, p. 113) (see also [DVJ], p. 138) Macchi essentially claimed that a necessary and sufficient condition on the integral operator K , locally trace class, to define a regular fermion (=determinantal in our notations) random point field is 0 ≤ K < 1.
Determinantal random point fields