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noun \ˈnēd\

Simple Definition of need

  • : a situation in which someone or something must do or have something

  • : something that a person must have : something that is needed in order to live or succeed or be happy

  • : a strong feeling that you must have or do something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of need

  1. 1 :  necessary duty :  obligation

  2. 2 a :  a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful b :  a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism

  3. 3 :  a condition requiring supply or relief

  4. 4 :  lack of the means of subsistence :  poverty

Examples of need in a sentence

  1. You can always call me at home if the need arises.

  2. These new methods reduce the need to use harmful chemicals on crops.

  3. We find that there is still a need for further discussion.

  4. There is a great need for change.

  5. Our experienced staff will go out of their way to meet your every need.

  6. He has trouble expressing his emotional needs.

  7. I felt a need to take control of the situation.

  8. a need to be loved

  9. She has an overwhelming need to be liked and respected.

  10. I don't feel the need to defend my decision.

Origin of need

Middle English ned, from Old English nīed, nēd; akin to Old High German nōt distress, need, Old Prussian nautin need

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of need

  • : to be in a condition or situation in which you must have (something) : to require (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of need

neededneedingneeds or (auxiliary) need

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to be needful or necessary

  3. 2 :  to be in want

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to be in need of :  require

  6. verbal auxiliary
  7. :  be under necessity or obligation to <you need not answer> <she need only wait>

Examples of need in a sentence

  1. I need some advice. What do you think of this dress?

  2. I just need a couple of minutes to get ready.

  3. Most babies need at least 12 hours of sleep a day.

  4. We badly need a vacation.

  5. Further research is urgently needed if we are to find a cure.

  6. Another delay is the last thing I need!

  7. Men? Who needs them?! I certainly don't.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of need

before 12th century

NEED Defined for Kids



verb \ˈnēd\

Definition of need for Students


  1. 1 :  to suffer from the lack of something important to life or health <Give to those who need.>

  2. 2 :  to be necessary <Something needs to be done.>

  3. 3 :  to be without :  require <I need advice.> <He bought what he needed.>




Definition of need for Students

  1. 1 :  something that must be done :  obligation <An electrician understands the need to be careful.>

  2. 2 :  a lack of something necessary, useful, or desired <After losing his job, he was in great need.>

  3. 3 :  something necessary or desired <Our daily needs are few.>

Seen and Heard

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the range of perception or understanding

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