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4 definitions found
 for essential
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Essential \Es*sen"tial\ ([e^]s*s[e^]n"sjal), a. [Cf. F.
     essentiel. See Essence.]
     1. Belonging to the essence, or that which makes an object,
        or class of objects, what it is.
        [1913 Webster]
              Majestic as the voice sometimes became, there was
              forever in it an essential character of
              plaintiveness.                        --Hawthorne.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Hence, really existing; existent.
        [1913 Webster]
              Is it true, that thou art but a name,
              And no essential thing?               --Webster
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Important in the highest degree; indispensable to the
        attainment of an object; indispensably necessary.
        [1913 Webster]
              Judgment's more essential to a general
              Than courage.                         --Denham.
        [1913 Webster]
              How to live? -- that is the essential question for
              us.                                   --H. Spencer.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. 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." --Ford.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Mus.) Necessary; indispensable; -- said of those tones
        which constitute a chord, in distinction from ornamental
        or passing tones.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Med.) Idiopathic; independent of other diseases.
        [1913 Webster]
     Essential character (Biol.), the prominent characteristics
        which serve to distinguish one genus, species, etc., from
     Essential disease, Essential fever (Med.), one that is
        not dependent on another.
     Essential oils (Chem.), a class of volatile oils, extracted
        from plants, fruits, or flowers, having each its
        characteristic odor, and hot burning taste. They are used
        in essences, perfumery, etc., and include many varieties
        of compounds; as lemon oil is a terpene, oil of bitter
        almonds an aldehyde, oil of wintergreen an ethereal
        salt, etc.; -- called also volatile oils in distinction
        from the fixed or nonvolatile.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Essential \Es*sen"tial\ ([e^]s*s[e^]n"sjal), n.
     1. Existence; being. [Obs.] --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. That which is essential; first or constituent principle;
        as, the essentials of religion.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: absolutely necessary; vitally necessary; "essential tools
             and materials"; "funds essential to the completion of the
             project"; "an indispensable worker" [syn: essential,
      2: basic and fundamental; "the essential feature" [ant:
         inessential, unessential]
      3: of the greatest importance; "the all-important subject of
         disarmament"; "crucial information"; "in chess cool nerves
         are of the essence" [syn: all-important(a), all
         important(p), crucial, essential, of the essence(p)]
      4: being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant
         etc; "essential oil"
      5: defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by
         which rights and duties are established; "substantive law"
         [syn: substantive, essential] [ant: adjective,
      n 1: 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" [syn: necessity, essential, requirement,
           requisite, necessary] [ant: inessential,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  183 Moby Thesaurus words for "essential":
     ab ovo, austere, axiom, bare, bare necessities, basal, basic,
     basilar, bedrock, bench mark, brass tacks, call for, called for,
     capital, cardinal, cardinal point, center, central, chaste, chief,
     chief thing, climax, condition, congenital, connate, constituent,
     constitutional, constitutive, core, cornerstone, crisis,
     critical point, crux, deep-seated, demand, demand for,
     desideration, desideratum, element, elemental, elementary, elixir,
     essence, essential facts, essential matter, essentials, flower,
     focal, focus, foremost, fundamental, gist, gravamen, great point,
     gut, heart, high point, homely, homespun, homogeneous, hypostasis,
     imperative, important, important thing, inborn, inbred, indicated,
     indispensable, indivisible, innate, inner essence, intrinsic,
     irreducible, irreductible, irreplaceable, issue, kernel, key,
     keystone, landmark, leading, life-and-death, life-or-death, main,
     main point, main thing, marrow, material, material point, meat,
     mere, milestone, monolithic, must, must item, necessaries,
     necessary, necessities, necessitous, necessity, need, need for,
     needed, needful, nub, nucleus, nuts and bolts, occasion,
     of a piece, of the essence, of vital importance, original,
     part and parcel, pith, pivot, plain, postulate, prerequirement,
     prerequisite, primal, primary, prime, primitive, principal,
     principle, pure, pure and simple, quid, quiddity, quintessence,
     quintessential, radical, real issue, required, requirement,
     requisite, requisition, right-hand, rudiment, rudimentary,
     salient point, sap, severe, simon-pure, simple, sine qua non,
     single, soul, spare, spirit, stark, stuff, substance, substantial,
     substantive, substantive point, the bottom line, the data,
     the details, the dope, the facts, the information, the necessary,
     the needful, the nitty-gritty, the particulars, the picture,
     the point, the scoop, the score, the specifics, the whole story,
     turning point, unadorned, uncluttered, underlying, undifferenced,
     undifferentiated, unforgoable, uniform, vital, want, wanted

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