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adjective     essential pronunciation in British English
/ɪˈsenʃ(ə)l/
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  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
    the essential features of something are its most basic and typical features

    the essential characteristics of Marxist political thought

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

    1. a.
      most basic and necessary

      essential services such as shops and buses

      food, fuel, and other essential supplies

    See also fundamental
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