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[uhn-nes-uh-ser-ee] /ʌnˈnɛs əˌsɛr i/
not necessary or essential; needless; unessential.
noun, plural unnecessaries.
unnecessaries, things that are not necessary or essential.
Origin of unnecessary
1540-50; un-1 + necessary
Related forms
[uhn-nes-uh-sair-uh-lee, -nes-uh-ser-] /ʌnˌnɛs əˈsɛər ə li, -ˈnɛs əˌsɛr-/ (Show IPA),
unnecessariness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unnecessary
  • It is completely unnecessary in drinks, but once the rich started doing it the poor people wanted to do it too.
  • Carrying unnecessary weight in your vehicle makes your engine work harder.
  • Instead, they took an unnecessary risk for the sake of not changing a mission.
  • Winfrey's perfection of the art of acting sincere probably made the development of dramatic range impossible-and unnecessary.
  • These concoctions tend to contain a blend of ingredients, some of them unnecessary and unproven.
  • To insure that unnecessary costs are avoided, they took yet further steps.
  • The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes.
  • He presents them, with consummate art, so that they shall not cause unnecessary pain.
  • Particular examples of such instances it is unnecessary to adduce, there is such plenty of them.
  • We could continue to debate the tone of your email, but it seems unnecessary.
British Dictionary definitions for unnecessary


/ʌnˈnɛsɪsərɪ; -ɪsrɪ/
not necessary
Derived Forms
unnecessarily, adverb
unnecessariness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unnecessary

1540s, from un- (1) "not" + necessary. Related: Unnecessarily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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