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)

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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 Beyond extending the eviction moratorium, other aid is necessary to avoid a cliff. Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix and housing groups ask Ducey to extend Arizona's halt on evictions until end of 2020," 13 July 2020 With the smartDOT, this precautionary step isn't necessary, according to the company. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: A magnetic shield will not protect cellphone users from EMF radiation," 13 July 2020 Do young people feel so entitled that acknowledging a gift is not necessary? Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Daughter hopes to avoid conflict, stress when cleaning up after elderly mother," 12 July 2020 Another mutation allows sled dogs to highly regulate body temperatures, says Ostrander—necessary not only to survive the cold, but to cool down after a period of exertion. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Humans and dogs have been sledding together for nearly 10,000 years," 25 June 2020 Asked about the possibility of moving back the CFP version of Selection Sunday by a week if necessary, playoff executive director Bill Hancock declined to talk about hypothetical situations. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "COVID-19 has forced the Big 12 to expand its thinking — and it could lead to at least one significant change next season," 21 June 2020 The challenge here is in preserving the African American cultural signature on the holiday (very necessary) while recognizing that the United States is hardly the only country with a history of slavery. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "Why Juneteenth Went Viral," 19 June 2020 Investors may be slow to appreciate the strategic shift, however necessary. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "BP Is Writing Down Oil Projects. Dividends May Be Next.," 15 June 2020 Self-care is necessary, not optional, for recharging one's batteries and fulfilling responsibilities. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Self-care for parents in a pandemic: Finding the time when you don't have it," 13 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tramontana trotted downstairs, grabbed the necessaries and made the carbonara — but the experience lingered. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Instagram helps Orlando area chefs fill seats," 11 Oct. 2019 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's why the U.S. women's soccer World Cup team did the right thing," 13 June 2019 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 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's why the U.S. women's soccer World Cup team did the right thing," 13 June 2019 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 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

25 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Necessary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necessary. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for necessary

necessary

adjective
How to pronounce necessary (audio)

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
How to pronounce necessary (audio)

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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Comments on necessary

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