Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


The philosophical tenet that objects and classes of objects have essential and not merely accidental characteristics.

es·sen′tial·ist adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Philosophy) philosophy one of a number of related doctrines which hold that there are necessary properties of things, that these are logically prior to the existence of the individuals which instantiate them, and that their classification depends upon their satisfaction of sets of necessary conditions
2. (Education) the doctrine that education should concentrate on teaching basic skills and encouraging intellectual self-discipline
esˈsentialist n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(əˈsɛn ʃəˌlɪz əm)

an educational doctrine advocating the teaching of culturally important concepts, ideals, and skills to all students, regardless of individual ability, needs, etc. Compare progressivism.
es•sen′tial•ist, n., adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a philosophical theory asserting that metaphysical essences are real and intuitively accessible.
2. a philosophical theory giving priority to the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of something over its existence. Cf. existentialism.essentialist, n.essentialistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the topics are the North: a cultural stereotype between metaphor and racial essentialism, whether Nordic mythology is Nordic or national or both: competing national appropriations of Nordic mythology in early-19th-century Scandinavia, Norse mythology in Icelandic fiction about the Second World War, heirs of Lonnrot: from Longfellow to Tolkien, Kalevala in international masks: a Japanese Aino and Kalevala, and crossing the borders: Loki and the decline of the nation state.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, the solution, according to Greg McKeown, is a way of life he calls Essentialism. In his book Essentialism, he describes this way of life as the disciplined pursuit of fewer but better options.
Nicely.Greg McKeown has some tips for you in his excellent book, Essentialism.
Central to her analysis of their trading practices, which includes managing the relationship to local cadres and the state, their family life, spirituality and consumption, is the notion of essentialism, the idea that socially and historically contructed categories are taken as naturally given.
Baker began doing yoga, meditating and reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by leadership consultant Greg McKeown.
29-36): (1) 'passivism'--the idea that the behaviour of entities is determined by an external contingent force; included within this broad category are forms of essentialism, reductionism and social constructivism; (2) the Aristotelian teleological view of the behaviour of entities as being goal-directed; and (3) relational dispositionality, which Lie defends, in which entities have real dispositions to act in certain non-contingent ways, so that 'all being of nature [are] active...
I was impressed by the book titled 'Essentialism, the Disciplined Pursuit of Less' by Greg McKeown.
You could argue essentialism and say that it will always be in the Arabs' nature to hate the Jews.
Recent work on natural kind essentialism has taken a deflationary turn.
Essentialism -- Greg McKeown The challenge is frequently how to maximize the time and resources available to provide the service your customers expect as quickly and efficiently as possible.
SO, ESSENTIALISM IS HOW THE RIGHT interprets the founding, and organicism is the Left's approach.
This is known as feminist essentialism. Taking this gendered view further, Nel Noddings states that the domestic sphere is the originator and nurturer of justice, in the sense that the best social policies are identified, modeled, and sustained by practices in the "best families." This is a difficult position: Who decides on the characteristics of "best families?"