indispensable

Indispensable is a strong adjective for something that you couldn't do without. If you have asthma and you're packing for summer vacation, your inhaler is indispensable, unless you enjoy gasping on the beach.

Something that is dispensable is something you could get rid of, like that box of yogurt-covered zucchini snacks that's been in the pantry for a year. So if something is indispensable you couldn't possibly go without it, like salt, or for some people, coffee. Chocolate is indispensable for chocolate chip cookies, as is furniture for the adult hide-and-go-seek league.

Definitions of indispensable
1

adj not to be dispensed with; essential

“foods indispensable to good nutrition”
Synonyms:
critical, vital
urgently needed; absolutely necessary
necessary
absolutely essential
Antonyms:
dispensable
capable of being dispensed with or done without
unnecessary, unneeded
not necessary
show more antonyms...

adj absolutely necessary; vitally necessary

“an indispensable worker”
Synonyms:
essential
necessary
absolutely essential

adj unavoidable

“the routine but indispensable ceremonies of state”
Synonyms:
obligatory
morally or legally constraining or binding

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.