necessary

adjective
nec·es·sary | \ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē \

Definition of necessary 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : absolutely needed : required Food is necessary for life.

2a : of an inevitable nature : inescapable Death is a necessary feature of the human condition.

b(1) : logically unavoidable a necessary conclusion

(2) : that cannot be denied without contradiction

c : determined or produced by the previous condition of things the necessary outcome of the affair

d : compulsory Taking the oath of obedience is necessary.

necessary

noun
nec·es·sary | \ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē \
plural necessaries

Definition of necessary (Entry 2 of 2)

: an indispensable item : essential

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Examples of necessary in a Sentence

Adjective

Some say that Hvorostovsky's Don Giovanni lacks the necessary menace; others find that he tosses his mane about too flamboyantly. — Francine Du Plessix Gray, New Yorker, 22 Sept. 2003 From the very outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual,  … was inseparable from his necessary indignation. — Tom Wolfe, Harper's, June 2000 Our most cataclysmic moments are typically free of gravitas, of necessary thunder; a person dies, but instead of the sky darkening and lightning striking, the sun continues to shine and the birds to sing. — Alain de Botton, Harper's, October 1998 Is it really necessary for me to have surgery? The threat of a thunderstorm made it necessary to cancel the picnic. It's not necessary to wear a tie. Food is necessary for life. We had all the necessary ingredients. She took the medicine only when absolutely necessary. Higher prices are a necessary consequence of the company's new services.

Noun

"I thoroughly understand you," cried Mrs. Norris, " … My dear Sir Thomas, with all my faults I have a warm heart; and, poor as I am, would rather deny myself the necessaries of life than do an ungenerous thing." — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814 I took up the two officers in my hands, put them first into my coat-pockets, and then into every other pocket about me, except my two fobs, and another secret pocket I had no mind should be searched, wherein I had some little necessaries that were of no consequence to any but myself. — Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, 1726 a modest income that provided the family with only the necessaries of life
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Coaches always put a premium on defense and the coaching staff is encouraged that Johnson is putting in the work necessary to improve as a shooter. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons Glenn Robinson III coming for starting forward spot," 14 July 2018 Village officials said both the Speedway and PAL developments are necessary to ensure the completion of intersection improvements at Christina Drive and Route 72. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "East Dundee to get another gun range," 13 July 2018 The county is willing to step up to facilitate the changes that are necessary to promote the public health and well-being of Sativa customers. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "Agency that delivered brown, smelly water to customers should be dissolved, board rules," 12 July 2018 Many media executives, including those at AT&T and Time Warner, say mergers among their companies are necessary to better compete against tech giants like Netflix and Amazon. New York Times, "AT&T-Time Warner Deal Approval Gets Justice Department Challenge," 12 July 2018 Zogenix picked up the project and conducted the clinical trials necessary to secure ZX008’s approval in Dravet syndrome. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Zogenix to submit anti-seizure drug for approval after clinical trial confirms benefit," 12 July 2018 Those first 200,000 cars were nearly all luxury Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, going to owners for whom a tax credit is more nice than necessary. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Terrible Timing of Tesla's Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit," 12 July 2018 Nardello won the votes of 42 percent of the delegates at a local Democratic convention — far beyond the 15 percent minimum that is necessary to qualify for a primary. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Judge Orders Former Rep. Vickie Nardello's Name Be Put On State Senate Primary Ballot After Paperwork Error," 11 July 2018 Airport officials emphasize that the noise associated with the closed runway is temporary and the construction is necessary to keep a major driver of Anchorage's economy functioning. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "For some in Anchorage, it’s been the summer of airplane noise. But just wait until next year.," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The large, refrigerated trailer has fruits, veggies and meat — the necessaries that make up a balanced diet. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, "Park-It Market will provide free food to low-income seniors throughout Orange County," 10 May 2018 Across the way, a 10-year-old mucks out a stall, taking on all the necessaries in caring for her calf. Sharon Hoffmann And Dan Kelly, kansascity, "Chickens, cows and merry-go-round horses: Your guide to county fair season," 13 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'necessary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of necessary

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for necessary

Adjective

Middle English necessarie, from Latin necessarius, from necesse necessary, probably from ne- not + cedere to withdraw — more at no

Noun

see necessary entry 1

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Statistics for necessary

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for necessary

The first known use of necessary was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for necessary

necessary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of necessary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: so important that you must do it or have it : absolutely needed

: unable to be changed or avoided

necessary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of necessary (Entry 2 of 2)

necessaries : things (such as food, a place to live, and clothing) that you must have : necessary things

the necessary : whatever is needed for some purpose

necessary

adjective
nec·es·sary | \ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē \

Kids Definition of necessary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: needing to be had or done : essential Food is necessary to life. I got the necessary work done first.

Other Words from necessary

necessarily \ˌne-sə-ˈser-ə-lē \ adverb

necessary

noun
plural necessaries

Kids Definition of necessary (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is needed We left a good stock of … medicines, and some other necessaries— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

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