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The noun 'must-have' is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as:

Something that many people want to own.

Do you know any alternatives for expressing the same meaning? I would like to use it to make the writing a bit more elegant: 'must-have' sounds so cliché-ish.

I'm open to synonyms (Thesaurus had none) and phrases.

The more it leans to 'vital' to own instead of 'want' to own, the better.

  • sine qua non, requisite, necessity. – Old Brixtonian Dec 7 '19 at 1:37
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A more proper word is essentials. Dictionary.com defines it as:

a basic, indispensable, or necessary element; chief point:
Concentrate on essentials rather than details.

Lexico says:

A thing that is absolutely necessary.
‘we only had the bare essentials in the way of equipment’

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