Definition of unnecessary in English:



  • 1Not needed.

    ‘a fourth Chicago airport is unnecessary’
    • ‘For reasons which will become apparent it is unnecessary to give further consideration to the second element.’
    • ‘Far from tickling anyone pink, this unnecessary remake is more likely to turn viewers red with rage.’
    • ‘Things are tight and there is little space for unnecessary expenditure.’
    • ‘To earn a decent amount from the health service dentists could, in effect, be doing work which is unnecessary and cosmetic.’
    • ‘Exposed skin can freeze in seconds and result in unnecessary cold weather injuries.’
    • ‘Therefore he should be released back into the community and a restriction order is both unnecessary and inappropriate.’
    • ‘This is a very strange solution, as it seems that the second census was unnecessary.’
    • ‘It is quite simply unwanted, unnecessary and utterly uninteresting.’
    • ‘Critics say the bill offers confusing and unnecessary changes to a law that has been in place for years.’
    • ‘The treatment of hypothyroidism is usually simple, and referral to secondary care is unnecessary.’
    • ‘If we could, the manuscripts would become unnecessary, dispensable.’
    • ‘I seem these last two weeks to have expended a lot of unnecessary energy.’
    • ‘The hope is that Sol Campbell's return, which is at least two weeks away, will render such expenditure unnecessary.’
    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.
      ‘the police used unnecessary force’
      • ‘To reclaim your disk memory, you need to clean up these unnecessary and unwanted files.’
      • ‘We can make substantial contributions, if only we curtail unnecessary expenditure.’
      • ‘Many have been killed and some have also been tried for excessive use of force and other unnecessary action.’
      • ‘The Mayo defence conceded an unnecessary and needless corner from Derry's first attack.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The second new point is, in reality, unnecessary as far as SG is concerned, if it is allowed to raise its first new point.’
      • ‘It's mostly a man in a suit, save for a few seconds of nasty and totally unnecessary CGI.’
      • ‘Intimidation, unnecessary use of force and unjustified arrests would not help matters.’
      • ‘The family of Det Garda Jerry McCabe are still forced to endure unnecessary suffering.’
      • ‘Yes, I am good with numbers and can recall excessive amounts of unnecessary detail from my past.’
      • ‘The use of weapons which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is similarly prohibited.’
      • ‘After all, we do not want to waste unnecessary monies just on restricting his movements.’
      • ‘However, this tactic will give our existing loyal customers unnecessary consumer surplus.’
      • ‘Critics have complained this adds unnecessary time and stress to journeys.’
      • ‘But I do also wonder about the tsunami of unnecessary expenditure that engulfs so many of us.’
      • ‘My second pointer may seem absurdly unnecessary; I assure you it is not.’
      • ‘Well, in the next ten seconds I was dumped in a completely unnecessary fashion into the bathtub.’
      • ‘The total of those three sums is just wasted and unnecessary expense.’
      • ‘If the City of York Council stopped wasting money on unnecessary road works it could save some cash.’
      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
    2. 1.2 (of a remark) not appropriate and likely to be offensive or impertinent.
      • ‘I want to say that, on reflection, that question had an unnecessary comment in it.’
      • ‘I do an interview with Colin McRae and ask him unnecessary questions, like if he needs a sub.’
      • ‘The question was addressed, but there were comments at the end of the answer that were unnecessary.’
      • ‘A year ago such comments were unnecessary, as actions spoke louder than words.’
      • ‘That last comment was unnecessary to the sense of the question asked.’
      • ‘That is really speculation and the innuendo is unnecessary, with respect.’
      • ‘Why if George Dubya Morrison were reading these snide and unnecessary comments he'd be spinning in his supercontext.’
      • ‘It was a trivial and unnecessary remark, which added nothing to the diagnosis or management plan.’
      • ‘That would have seemed an unnecessary comment until you saw what happened at the Cork County Board meeting.’
      • ‘But I would like to ask why you seem to throw in unnecessary comments that are demeaning to Americans.’
      • ‘That last comment was totally unnecessary and was, of course, nothing to do with a point of order.’
      • ‘She herself may have been joking of course, but it was a fairly unnecessary comment to make.’
      • ‘The prefacing of that answer was unnecessary, if that is the point of order.’
      • ‘I think the last comment of that point of order was unnecessary, and I ask the member to withdraw it.’

plural noun

  • Unnecessary things.

    • ‘Warner Brothers included some nice extras, but didn't go overboard on the unnecessaries you'll really only watch once.’
    • ‘A brand spanking new computer souped up with all the bright shiny unnecessaries a girl could ever want.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’