noun ne·ces·si·ty \ni-ˈse-sə-tē, -ˈses-tē\

: something that you must have or do : something that is necessary

: the quality of being necessary

plural ne·ces·si·ties

Full Definition of NECESSITY

:  the quality or state of being necessary
a :  pressure of circumstance
b :  physical or moral compulsion
c :  impossibility of a contrary order or condition
:  the quality or state of being in need; especially :  poverty
a :  something that is necessary :  requirement
b :  an urgent need or desire
of necessity
:  in such a way that it cannot be otherwise; also :  as a necessary consequence <further changes will occur of necessity>

Examples of NECESSITY

  1. Sunscreen is an absolute necessity for the beach.
  2. food, clothes, and other basic necessities
  3. Getting plenty of rest is a necessity.
  4. Without a car, living close to work is a necessity.
  5. All we took with us on our hiking trip were the bare necessities.


Middle English necessite, from Anglo-French necessité, from Latin necessitat-, necessitas, from necesse
First Known Use: 14th century
NECESSITY Defined for Kids


noun ne·ces·si·ty \ni-ˈse-sə-tē\
plural ne·ces·si·ties

Definition of NECESSITY for Kids

:  the state of things that forces certain actions <The necessity of eating forced her to work.>
:  very great need <Call us for help in case of necessity.>
:  the state of being in need :  poverty <I am forced by necessity to beg.>
:  something that is badly needed <He bought a few necessities before his trip.>
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
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