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essential - definition and synonyms

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adjective     essential pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    completely necessary
    essential for:

    Light is absolutely essential for the healthy development of plants.

    essential to:

    He had acquired the skills essential to his later success in politics.

    it is essential (that):

    It is essential that all equipment is properly maintained.

    it is essential to do something:

    If you want to make major changes, it is essential to involve your staff.

    essential reading:

    Her articles are essential reading for anyone interested in the war.

    play an essential role/part in something:

    She has always played an essential part in the smooth running of the business.

  2. 2
    most basic and necessary

    essential services such as hospitals and public transportation

    food, fuel, and other essential supplies

    1. a.
      the essential features of something are its most basic and typical features

      the essential characteristics of Marxist political thought

      the essential beauty of the area

      The essential difference between us is that I take life seriously.

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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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