Definition of unnecessary in English:



  • 1Not needed:

    ‘some people feel that holiday insurance is unnecessary’
    • ‘Exposed skin can freeze in seconds and result in unnecessary cold weather injuries.’
    • ‘This is a very strange solution, as it seems that the second census was unnecessary.’
    • ‘Therefore he should be released back into the community and a restriction order is both unnecessary and inappropriate.’
    • ‘If we could, the manuscripts would become unnecessary, dispensable.’
    • ‘The hope is that Sol Campbell's return, which is at least two weeks away, will render such expenditure unnecessary.’
    • ‘I seem these last two weeks to have expended a lot of unnecessary energy.’
    • ‘For reasons which will become apparent it is unnecessary to give further consideration to the second element.’
    • ‘It is quite simply unwanted, unnecessary and utterly uninteresting.’
    • ‘Far from tickling anyone pink, this unnecessary remake is more likely to turn viewers red with rage.’
    • ‘To earn a decent amount from the health service dentists could, in effect, be doing work which is unnecessary and cosmetic.’
    • ‘The treatment of hypothyroidism is usually simple, and referral to secondary care is unnecessary.’
    • ‘Critics say the bill offers confusing and unnecessary changes to a law that has been in place for years.’
    • ‘Things are tight and there is little space for unnecessary expenditure.’
    not necessary, not essential, non-essential, not needed, not required, unwanted, uncalled-for, needless, redundant, superfluous, excessive, excess, surplus, dispensable, expendable, optional, ornamental, cosmetic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 More than is needed; excessive:
      ‘good construction is essential to avoid unnecessary waste’
      • ‘However, this tactic will give our existing loyal customers unnecessary consumer surplus.’
      • ‘The family of Det Garda Jerry McCabe are still forced to endure unnecessary suffering.’
      • ‘The second new point is, in reality, unnecessary as far as SG is concerned, if it is allowed to raise its first new point.’
      • ‘Yes, I am good with numbers and can recall excessive amounts of unnecessary detail from my past.’
      • ‘To reclaim your disk memory, you need to clean up these unnecessary and unwanted files.’
      • ‘After all, we do not want to waste unnecessary monies just on restricting his movements.’
      • ‘Well, in the next ten seconds I was dumped in a completely unnecessary fashion into the bathtub.’
      • ‘If this is so, a proprietor can object to unnecessary repackaging even when it causes no harm to the specific subject matter of the right.’
      • ‘For Stephen to lose his life over fraudulent benefit claims is a complete waste and so unnecessary.’
      • ‘Many have been killed and some have also been tried for excessive use of force and other unnecessary action.’
      • ‘My second pointer may seem absurdly unnecessary; I assure you it is not.’
      • ‘It's mostly a man in a suit, save for a few seconds of nasty and totally unnecessary CGI.’
      • ‘If the City of York Council stopped wasting money on unnecessary road works it could save some cash.’
      • ‘The use of weapons which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is similarly prohibited.’
      • ‘Critics have complained this adds unnecessary time and stress to journeys.’
      • ‘The total of those three sums is just wasted and unnecessary expense.’
      • ‘We can make substantial contributions, if only we curtail unnecessary expenditure.’
      • ‘But I do also wonder about the tsunami of unnecessary expenditure that engulfs so many of us.’
      • ‘The Mayo defence conceded an unnecessary and needless corner from Derry's first attack.’
      • ‘Intimidation, unnecessary use of force and unjustified arrests would not help matters.’
      unneeded, needless, inessential, non-essential, not required, uncalled for, gratuitous, useless, unmerited, unwarranted, unwanted, undesired, dispensable, avoidable, peripheral, cosmetic, unimportant, trivial, incidental, optional, extraneous, expendable, disposable, redundant, pointless, purposeless, to no purpose, to no avail
      wasted, wasteful, wanton
      superfluous, excess, excessive, too much, disproportionate
      de trop
      View synonyms

plural noun

  • Unnecessary things:

    ‘Flora never wasted cash on unnecessaries’
    • ‘Of course, among the unnecessaries to him are the use of union labor and producing goods in America, and Scott is unabashed about pointing in the direction of China or other places for abysmally low production costs.’
    • ‘A brand spanking new computer souped up with all the bright shiny unnecessaries a girl could ever want.’
    • ‘Warner Brothers included some nice extras, but didn't go overboard on the unnecessaries you'll really only watch once.’
    • ‘If you saw the movie and loved it, then you will love this album just as much; if you haven't or didn't, you will probably be left feeling impressed but a little confused at the inclusion of such unnecessaries.’