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Adjective essential has 6 senses
  1. essential, indispensable - absolutely necessary; vitally necessary; "essential tools and materials"; "funds essential to the completion of the project"; "an indispensable worker"
    Antonyms: unnecessary, unneeded (indirect, via necessary)
  2. essential - basic and fundamental; "the essential feature"
    inessential, unessential, complemental, complementary, completing, incidental, nonessential
  3. all-important, all important, crucial, essential, of the essence - of the greatest importance; "the all-important subject of disarmament"; "crucial information"; "in chess cool nerves are of the essence"
    Antonym: unimportant (indirect, via important)
  4. essential - being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc; "essential oil"
  5. substantive, essential - applying to essential legal principles and rules of right; "substantive law"
  6. essential - absolutely required and not to be used up or sacrificed
    expendable (indirect, via unexpendable)
Noun essential has 1 sense
  1. necessity, essential, requirement, requisite, necessary - 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"
    --1 is a kind of thing
    Antonyms: inessential, nonessential
    --1 has particulars: desideratum; must; need, want
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