be of the essence

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be of the essence

To be a key consideration, of great importance, or absolutely necessary. It goes without saying that discretion is of the essence in this situation. Has anyone called an ambulance? Time is of the essence with this man's injuries!
See also: essence, of

of the essence

Absolutely necessary; of great importance or key consideration. It goes without saying that discretion is of the essence in this situation. Has anyone called an ambulance? Time is of the essence with this man's injuries!
See also: essence, of

of the essence

Of the greatest importance, crucial, as in Time is of the essence. This idiom, which uses essence in the sense of "the most important element of something," was first recorded in 1873, although the phrase the essence of ... was already being used in the mid-1600s.
See also: essence, of

of the essence

FORMAL
If something is of the essence, it is absolutely necessary in order for a particular action to be successful. Time is of the essence. Speed was of the essence in a project of this type.
See also: essence, of

of the essence

critically important.
1990 Louis de Bernières The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts Gentlemen, we have before us an important mission for which speed and efficiency are of the essence, and where surprise is the key element.
See also: essence, of

of the ˈessence

absolutely necessary: Time is of the essence (= we must do things as quickly as possible).
See also: essence, of

of the essence

Of the greatest importance; crucial: Time is of the essence.
See also: essence, of
References in periodicals archive ?
The case law establishes that time is of the essence in child protection cases and the clock begins to run from the day the child is admitted to foster care.
However, time is of the essence, as the bill will likely come to the House floor on Tuesday, October 1, 2002.
Timing of product delivery is of the essence to OTE in an effort to take advantage of the Christmas holiday season.