Essential and Incidental


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Essential adjective – Being a part of the innermost nature of a person or thing.
Usage example: an unquenchable belief in the essential goodness of most people

Incidental is an antonym for essential in topics: fundamental, basic.
Nearby Words: essence, essentially, essentiality
Antonyms for Essential


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Incidental adjective – Lacking importance.
Usage example: we still have to work out a few incidental details, but the proposal is largely complete

Essential is an antonym for incidental in topics: secondary, related.
Nearby Words: incident, incidence, incidentally
Antonyms for Incidental
Similar words of essential
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Similar words of incidental
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Things that words describes

character essential character incidental character
role essential role incidental role
part essential part incidental part
parts essential parts incidental parts
Other nouns: piece, story, theme, element, information, book, songs, moments.

Both words in one sentence

  • This often depends on which genre the work is classified as; sometimes it becomes incidental as an author intends to deconstruct one genre but actually ends up writing it for another (a lot of tropes are common to many genres, but are only essential to a limited number).
  • Marathon has a complex and highly-detailed backstory that is still being investigated by fans to this day... almost none of which is essential to actually play the game, as it's contained mostly in incidental data screens in out-of-the-way locations.
Cite this Source
Incidental and Essential. (2016). Retrieved 2020, May 25, from
Essential & Incidental. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 May. 2020. <>.
Incidental or Essential. 2016. Accessed May 25, 2020.

Antonyms for essential
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Antonyms for incidental
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Google Ngram Viewer shows how "essential" and "incidental" have occurred on timeline: