of necessity; necessarily (usually preceded or followed by must):
It must needs be so. It needs must be.
a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation:
There is no need for you to go there.
a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary:
to fulfill the needs of the assignment.
urgent want, as of something requisite:
He has no need of your charity.
necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case:
There is no need to worry.
a situation or time of difficulty; exigency:
to help a friend in need; to be a friend in need.
a condition marked by the lack of something requisite:
the need for leadership.
destitution; extreme poverty:
The family’s need is acute.
verb (used with object)
to have need of; require:
to need money.
verb (used without object)
to be under an obligation (used as an auxiliary, typically in an interrogative or in a negative statement, and followed by infinitive, in certain cases without to; in the 3d person singular the form is need, not needs):
He need not go.
to be in need or want.
to be necessary:
There needs no apology.
if need be, should the necessity arise:
If need be, I can type the letters myself.
(preceded or foll by must) of necessity: we must needs go, we will go, if needs must
what is required; necessities: the needs of the third world, his needs are modest
(transitive) to be in want of: to need money
(transitive) to require or be required of necessity (to be or do something); be obliged: to need to do more work
(takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary in negative and interrogative sentences to express necessity or obligation, and does not add -s when used with he, she, it, and singular nouns: need he go?
(intransitive) (archaic) to be essential or necessary to: there needs no reason for this
the fact or an instance of feeling the lack of something: he has need of a new coat
a requirement: the need for vengeance
necessity or obligation resulting from some situation: no need to be frightened
distress or extremity: a friend in need
extreme poverty or destitution; penury
“of necessity, necessarily,” in archaic constructions involving must (late 14c.) is from Old English nede, instrumental and genitive singular of nied (see need), used as an adverb reinforcing must, hence the genitive ending.
Old English nied (West Saxon), ned (Mercian) “necessity, compulsion, duty; hardship, distress; errand, business,” originally “violence, force,” from Proto-Germanic *nauthis (cf. Old Saxon nod, Old Norse nauðr, Old Frisian ned, Middle Dutch, Dutch nood, Old High German not, German Not, Gothic nauþs “need”), probably cognate with Old Prussian nautin “need,” and perhaps with Old Church Slavonic nazda, Russian nuzda, Polish nędza “misery, distress,” from PIE *nau- “death, to be exhausted” (see narwhal).
The more common Old English word for “need, necessity, want” was ðearf, but they were connected via a notion of “trouble, pain,” and the two formed a compound, niedðearf “need, necessity, compulsion, thing needed.” Nied also might have been influenced by Old English neod “desire, longing,” which often was spelled the same. Common in Old English compounds, e.g. niedfaru “compulsory journey,” a euphemism for “death;” niedhæmed “rape,” the second element being an Old English word meaning “sexual intercourse;” niedling “slave.” Meaning “extreme poverty, destitution” is from c.1200.
Old English neodian “be necessary, be required (for some purpose); require, have need of,” from the same root as need (n.). Meaning “to be under obligation (to do something)” is from late 14c. Related: Needed; needing. The adjectival phrase need-to-know is attested from 1952. Dismissive phrase who needs it?, popular from c.1960, is a translated Yiddishism.
In addition to the idiom beginning with need
adjective See need-based
- Needs test
noun 1. (social welfare) an examination of a person’s physical or social, rather than financial, circumstances, to determine whether he or she is eligible for a particular welfare benefit or service Compare means test
[nee-dee] /ˈni di/ adjective, needier, neediest. 1. in a condition of or want; poverty-stricken; impoverished; extremely poor; destitute. noun 2. (used with a plural verb) needy persons collectively (usually preceded by the): Help the needy. /ˈniːdɪ/ adjective needier, neediest 1. adj. late 12c., neodi “poor, indigent,” from need (n.) + adjectival suffix -y (2). Cf. […]
[ney-el] /neɪˈɛl/ noun 1. Louis Eugène Félix [lwee œ-zhen fey-leeks] /lwi œˈʒɛn feɪˈliks/ (Show IPA), 1904–2000, French physicist: Nobel prize 1970. /French neɛl/ noun 1. Louis (lwi). 1904–2000, French physicist, noted for his research on magnetism; shared the Nobel prize for physics in 1970