Definition of unnecessary in English:



  • 1Not needed.

    ‘some people feel that holiday insurance is unnecessary’
    • ‘Critics say the bill offers confusing and unnecessary changes to a law that has been in place for years.’
    • ‘Exposed skin can freeze in seconds and result in unnecessary cold weather injuries.’
    • ‘For reasons which will become apparent it is unnecessary to give further consideration to the second element.’
    • ‘Therefore he should be released back into the community and a restriction order is both unnecessary and inappropriate.’
    • ‘Far from tickling anyone pink, this unnecessary remake is more likely to turn viewers red with rage.’
    • ‘This is a very strange solution, as it seems that the second census was unnecessary.’
    • ‘I seem these last two weeks to have expended a lot of unnecessary energy.’
    • ‘The treatment of hypothyroidism is usually simple, and referral to secondary care is unnecessary.’
    • ‘The hope is that Sol Campbell's return, which is at least two weeks away, will render such expenditure unnecessary.’
    • ‘It is quite simply unwanted, unnecessary and utterly uninteresting.’
    • ‘If we could, the manuscripts would become unnecessary, dispensable.’
    • ‘To earn a decent amount from the health service dentists could, in effect, be doing work which is unnecessary and cosmetic.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 1.1 More than is needed; excessive.
      ‘good construction is essential to avoid unnecessary waste’
      • ‘But I do also wonder about the tsunami of unnecessary expenditure that engulfs so many of us.’
      • ‘It's mostly a man in a suit, save for a few seconds of nasty and totally unnecessary CGI.’
      • ‘To reclaim your disk memory, you need to clean up these unnecessary and unwanted files.’
      • ‘My second pointer may seem absurdly unnecessary; I assure you it is not.’
      • ‘Intimidation, unnecessary use of force and unjustified arrests would not help matters.’
      • ‘The use of weapons which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is similarly prohibited.’
      • ‘The Mayo defence conceded an unnecessary and needless corner from Derry's first attack.’
      • ‘The total of those three sums is just wasted and unnecessary expense.’
      • ‘Well, in the next ten seconds I was dumped in a completely unnecessary fashion into the bathtub.’
      • ‘Critics have complained this adds unnecessary time and stress to journeys.’
      • ‘Yes, I am good with numbers and can recall excessive amounts of unnecessary detail from my past.’
      • ‘After all, we do not want to waste unnecessary monies just on restricting his movements.’
      • ‘We can make substantial contributions, if only we curtail unnecessary expenditure.’
      • ‘For Stephen to lose his life over fraudulent benefit claims is a complete waste and so unnecessary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many have been killed and some have also been tried for excessive use of force and other unnecessary action.’
      • ‘The second new point is, in reality, unnecessary as far as SG is concerned, if it is allowed to raise its first new point.’
      • ‘If the City of York Council stopped wasting money on unnecessary road works it could save some cash.’
      • ‘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.’
      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
      View synonyms

plural noun

  • Unnecessary things.

    ‘Flora never wasted cash on unnecessaries’
    • ‘A brand spanking new computer souped up with all the bright shiny unnecessaries a girl could ever want.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Warner Brothers included some nice extras, but didn't go overboard on the unnecessaries you'll really only watch once.’