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 (1623). [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 another.

{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]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • essential — Ⅰ. essential UK US /ɪˈsenʃəl/ adjective ► very important or necessary: »Computer literacy is becoming as essential as the ability to drive a car. an essential component/part of sth »Selective expansion of our store base is an essential component… …   Financial and business terms

  • essential — I (inherent) adjective basal, basic, basilar, basilary, elemental, fundamental, immanent, implicit, integral, intrinsic, intrinsical, main, primary II (required) adjective basic, binding, called for, chief, compulsory, critical, crucial, demanded …   Law dictionary

  • essential — adj 1 inherent, intrinsic, constitutional, ingrained Analogous words: *innate, inborn, inbred, congenital: inner, inward: elemental (see ELEMENTARY): *characteristic, individual, peculiar, distinctive Antonyms: accidental Contrasted words:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • essential — [ə sen′shəl, isen′shəl] adj. [ME essencial < LL essentialis: see ESSENCE] 1. of or constituting the intrinsic, fundamental nature of something; basic; inherent [an essential difference] 2. absolute; complete; perfect 3. absolutely necessary;… …   English World dictionary

  • Essential — Grandes éxitos de Jethro Tull Publicación 24 de marzo de 2003 (UK) 31 de marzo de 2003 (EE. UU.) Género(s) Rock progresivo Duración 43:41 …   Wikipedia Español

  • essential — [adj1] important, vital capital, cardinal, chief, constitutive, crucial, foremost, fundamental, imperative, indispensable, leading, main, necessary, necessitous, needed, needful, prerequisite, principal, required, requisite, righthand, wanted;… …   New thesaurus

  • 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] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Essentiāl — (essentiell, lat.), wesentlich, unumgänglich notwendig. Essentialia (Essentialien), wesentliche Dinge, wesentliche Bestandteile; essentialia negotii, in der Rechtssprache die wesentlichen Bestandteile eines Rechtsgeschäfts, die vorhanden sein… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • essential — essential, ale, aux [esɑ̃sjal, o] adj. ÉTYM. Mil. XXe; de essence, d après le lat. essentialis, refait pour éviter l ambiguïté d essentiel « de l essence », « très important ». ❖ ♦ Philos. De l essence. ❖ CONTR. Accidentel, existentiel …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • essential... — essential...,   Schreibvariante für essenzial …   Universal-Lexikon

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