Definition of essential noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪˈsenʃl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪˈsenʃl//
    [usually plural]
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  1. 1  something that is needed in a particular situation or in order to do a particular thing I only had time to pack the bare essentials (= the most necessary things). The studio had all the essentials like heating and running water. The relief agencies are trying to provide food and other basic essentials.
  2. 2  an important basic fact or piece of knowledge about a subject the essentials of English grammar
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘in the highest degree’): from late Latin essentialis, from Latin essentia, from esse ‘be’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: essential