American English

Definition of indispensable adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1too important to be without synonym essential
  2. 2 Cars have become an indispensable part of our lives. indispensable to somebody/something She made herself indispensable to the department. indispensable for something/for doing something A good dictionary is indispensable for learning a foreign language. opposite dispensable Thesaurusessentialvital crucial critical decisive indispensableThese words all describe someone or something that is extremely important and completely necessary because a particular situation or activity depends on them.essential extremely important and completely necessary, because without it something cannot exist, be made, or be successful:Experience is essential for this job.vital essential:The police play a vital role in our society.essential or vital?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in tone. Essential is used to state a fact or an opinion with authority. Vital is often used when there is some anxiety felt about something, or a need to persuade someone that a fact or an opinion is true, right, or important. Vital is less often used in negative statements:It was vital to show that he was not afraid. Money is not vital to happiness.crucial extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:It is crucial that we get this right.critical extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:Your decision is critical to our future.crucial or critical?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in context. Critical is often used in technical matters of business or science;crucial is often used to talk about matters that may cause anxiety or other emotions.decisive of the greatest importance in affecting the final result of a particular situation:She played a decisive role in the peace negotiations.indispensable essential; too important to be without:This database has become an indispensable resource in our research.Patterns essential/vital/crucial/critical/decisive/indispensable for something essential/vital/crucial/critical/indispensable to something essential/vital/crucial/critical that… essential/vital/crucial/critical to do something a(n) essential/vital/crucial/critical/decisive/indispensable part/role/factor of vital/crucial/critical/decisive >importance> absolutely essential/vital/crucial/critical/decisive/indispensable Language Bankvitalsaying that something is necessary It is vital that journalists are able to verify the accuracy of their reports. Journalists play a vital/crucial role in educating the public. Public trust is a crucial issue for all news organizations. The ability to write well is essential for any journalist. The Internet has become an indispensable tool for reporters. In journalism, accuracy is paramount. / …is of paramount importance. It is imperative that journalists maintain the highest possible standards of reporting.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: indispensable