necessary

adjective
nec·​es·​sary | \ ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce necessary (audio) \

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 How to pronounce necessary (audio) \
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 The Pinal County Sheriff's Office began evacuations at Oak Flats campground and placed approximately 150 residents in Superior and Top-of-the-World on standby, urging them to have emergency go-kits ready in case an evacuation is necessary. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, 6 June 2021 The company said the cuts were necessary because demand for its $10 to $18 artisan chocolate bars was down during the pandemic and the start of a normally slow summer season. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 June 2021 This comes from a skew in the funding formulas coupled with the huge size of the bailout given — which was not necessary, given the better-than-expected fiscal condition of states this year . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 5 June 2021 The distance was necessary during the pandemic, of course, and to their credit, the local teams did try to offer the most cooperative alternative available. BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021 Seus said a settlement is necessary because searching for an answer from the courts hasn’t worked. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 Roesslhumer and other advocates say an additional 3,000 jobs in violence prevention are necessary, and more training is needed for those who work in law enforcement, justice and education to ensure that violence-prevention laws are better enforced. Emily Schultheis, Star Tribune, 4 June 2021 No registration is necessary and walk-ins are welcome. courant.com, 4 June 2021 Change in organizations may not result in sore muscles, but pain is still necessary to achieve success — and, importantly, to maintain it. Edward Tuorinsky, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet its location on a critical trade route through the Strait of Gibraltar and the challenge of Barbary pirates in the vicinity made a more official presence for the American necessary. Graham Cornwell, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2021 Tramontana trotted downstairs, grabbed the necessaries and made the carbonara — but the experience lingered. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 11 Oct. 2019 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 13 June 2019 The large, refrigerated trailer has fruits, veggies and meat — the necessaries that make up a balanced diet. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, 10 May 2018 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 13 June 2019 The large, refrigerated trailer has fruits, veggies and meat — the necessaries that make up a balanced diet. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, 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, 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 and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for necessary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for necessary

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Necessary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necessary. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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
formal : unable to be changed or avoided

necessary

noun

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

: things (such as food, a place to live, and clothing) that you must have : necessary things
British, informal : whatever is needed for some purpose

necessary

adjective
nec·​es·​sary | \ ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce necessary (audio) \

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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