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

Democrats need to add two members without losing any to gain a simple majority, which would be necessary to make it so Mike Pence won't be called to cast the tie-breaking choice in 50-50 votes. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "2018 Midterm Congressional Election Results: Which Party Is Winning the House and the Senate?," 7 Nov. 2018 Sometimes, this leaves companies more vulnerable than necessary. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "Gen. Michael Hayden: Overclassification of Cyber Threats Puts Businesses at Risk," 31 Oct. 2018 And while Eugenie's Friday wedding could've created a new holiday, it wasn't deemed necessary, thus bucking a royal tradition. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Breaks Tradition," 3 Oct. 2018 One of the biggest downsides to renewable sources like wind and solar is that these sources can fluctuate wildly, producing zero energy one day and more energy than necessary the next. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Wind Turbines Are Getting Less Powerful—and That's a Good Thing," 14 Sep. 2018 Such actions could include protective orders, if deemed necessary, as further actions in the case are scheduled by the judge. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Landry, Ex-Council Member In Farmington, Charged With Harassment, Interfering With Police," 6 July 2018 For Redman, a trip to a costume shop is not necessary. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Patty Turner Center turns back the clock to the 1950s," 12 July 2018 For most people, though, training twice a day for goals like improving overall health, building strength, or weight loss, isn't really necessary—most people don’t need to be working out that much to reach their goals. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "Is It Safe to Work Out Twice in One Day?," 7 July 2018 Wiener has not been swayed by arguments from Internet providers who claim that net neutrality rules aren't necessary. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Net neutrality makes comeback in California; lawmakers agree to strict rules," 5 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

15 Nov 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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