Definition of non-essential in English:



  • Not absolutely necessary (tending to be less forceful in meaning than inessential)

    ‘during the strike non-essential hospital services were halted’
    • ‘Apparently, the practice has become so commonplace that some producers and directors now require non-essential production staff to turn their backs to contestants during competitions.’
    • ‘The doctors attended a rally outside the hospital to vote for bans on non-essential paperwork.’
    • ‘Mr Crow said: ‘They need to stop having this attitude, saying these are non-essential staff.’’
    • ‘Hospital bosses are ruling out any expenditure on non-essential items between now and the end of March, to ensure that they can come in on budget.’
    • ‘Much of the savings in these areas will be the result of not only reducing non-essential services but also redesigning systems utilizing sophisticated technology and cross-training of staff.’
    • ‘In June, Italy suffered its first blackouts in 20 years after a heatwave pushed the electricity system close to collapse and the government urged Italians to cut back on non-essential electricity use.’
    • ‘Mr Dillon stressed that the Trust must consider strict controls over the filling of vacancies and other measures including reducing expenditure on travel, training and non-essential maintenance.’
    • ‘Added to this is a general feeling of economic uncertainty - with military action looming and Wall Street unsettled, Americans are adopting a cautious view towards non-essential spending.’
    • ‘The City of Saskatoon requires residents to stop using water in all non-essential activities such as washing clothes, washing cars, showering, and watering lawns and gardens.’
    • ‘Under reforms to the pharmaceutical industry's code of conduct, all non-essential hospitality will be axed.’
    • ‘The city's officials have failed to see that ‘easy’ jobs are not necessarily non-essential jobs.’
    • ‘The World Health Organisation lifted its April 2 travel warning against non-essential travel to Hong Kong, one of the world's worst hit regions, on May 23.’
    • ‘‘This is all really about dissuading unnecessary or non-essential journeys,’ he says.’
    • ‘Chief executive Ged Curran said it was a challenge to strike the right balance between a low council tax and keeping non-essential services.’
    • ‘The current restrictions mean there's no air conditioning allowed and from 1pm to 7pm each day you're not allowed to use non-essential services.’
    • ‘This week authorities imposed a two-week ban on anyone donating blood after visiting a country affected by SARS and a 10-day ban on going to hospital for non-essential treatment.’
    • ‘The United States may withdraw non-essential staff from its embassy in Indonesia because of increasing concerns about the security of its citizens, well-placed sources say.’
    • ‘Last week, about 200 non-essential workers were evacuated from an oil facility near Port Harcourt, the flashpoint of recent unrest and the hub of Nigeria's oil production and exports.’
    • ‘A spokeswoman added: ‘Evacuation of non-essential personnel will continue as a matter of prudence, leaving a crew on board to resume the tow.’’
    • ‘Strict controls have already been introduced on non-essential staff recruitment at York Hospital, and the purchase of office equipment, furniture and computer software has been halted in a bid to fill the funding gap.’
    unnecessary, inessential, unessential, needless, unneeded, not required, superfluous, uncalled for, redundant, dispensable, expendable, peripheral, unimportant, incidental, optional, extraneous, cosmetic
    View synonyms


usually non-essentials
  • A non-essential thing.

    ‘we have little or no time to spare for non-essentials’
    • ‘The wisdom of life consists of the elimination of non-essentials.’
    • ‘Compare your charitable deductions with all the money you spend on non-essentials such as vacations, travel and the innumerable consumer delectables that adorn your home entertainment center.’
    • ‘As the rich tend to spend more than the less well-off on non-essentials, the rich would pay more in local sales tax.’
    • ‘To seek a complete logical definition of the general principle is probably to go beyond the function of the judge, for the more general the definition the more likely it is to omit essentials or to introduce non-essentials.’
    • ‘Tourists with strong exchange rates frequent the nearby boutiques and arcades snapping up non-essentials by the bagful, while Americans just window shop and wish the dollar was a little stronger.’
    • ‘The department's gross underspending on critical areas was labelled as an outrage in light of wasteful expenditure on non-essentials such as catering, consultants and ‘mystery’ costs.’
    • ‘Much as he admires Gee's work, McGann then used the rewrites to progressively prune away the clutter and the dated non-essentials from the story, in order to make it work as a contemporary film.’
    • ‘The fewer non-essentials we generate, the lesser we have to thrown away.’
    • ‘Prices may rise and consumption may fall as individuals refrain from purchasing new cars, computers and other non-essentials.’
    • ‘This is partly a reflection of currency crises devaluing sales, but mostly a result of consumer abandonment of non-essentials when consumer confidence dips.’
    • ‘The first is a consequence of the fact that for the foreseeable future there will be little mass consumer market for non-essentials outside the main coastal cities and a few other prosperous parts of the country.’
    • ‘The other week she tried to add up what she has spent on drink, fancy shoes, CDs and other non-essentials in the past five years.’
    • ‘The budget shows a preferential bias for the non-essentials.’
    • ‘I know lots of parents who make it a point to deny their children candy, toys and non-essentials teaching the daily difference between need and want.’
    • ‘But, as a society, we also spend enormous amounts on non-essentials: the National Institute of Sport springs to mind, or orchestras or operatic troupes or art galleries and museums.’
    • ‘Sir Clive Woodward was quite correct to attribute his World Cup triumph to critical non-essentials, to the search for small refinements and extra training sessions.’
    • ‘But teenagers are notorious for spending their income on non-essentials.’
    • ‘There was no demand in Spain for non-essentials.’
    • ‘All non-essentials are stripped away and asymmetrical designs are everywhere.’
    • ‘Reducing the number of occasions you splurge on non-essentials can leave you with a tidy sum of disposable income, which you can use to fund your retirement account.’