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

Climbers must be at least 7 years old, and no climbing experience is necessary. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "TreeRunner Adventure Park to open at Oakland University in June," 9 June 2019 Hill was as necessary an element to the Chiefs’ offense as anyone last year, catching 87 passes for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns, and running the ball 22 times for 151 yards and a score. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football: Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley Among Early 2019 Potential Busts," 7 June 2019 This policy of suspension while continuing engagement is necessary to enable a relatively swift transition to civilian rule. Adem K Abebe, Quartz Africa, "In Sudan, the African Union reminds us it still has a key role in tackling the continent’s crises," 7 June 2019 Even splitting him out at wide receiver is less necessary with the additions at receiver and Kareem Hunt joining the team after eight games. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "There should still be room for Duke Johnson on the Browns train: Browns Take," 4 June 2019 New convent was necessary The new convent was needed because the Sisters were having issues in the Motherhouse building west of the Marian Center. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Take a look inside the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi's new convent," 4 June 2019 If necessary, a lead abatement program will be undertaken before the field is reopened. Frank Kummer, https://www.inquirer.com, "Athletic field at popular Point Breeze playground closed after lead found in soil," 4 June 2019 As collaboration tools improve, letting distant teammates work together seamlessly, some are questioning whether an office is even necessary. Agam Shah, WSJ, "The Office of the Future Is No Office at All, Says Startup," 15 May 2019 Without insider knowledge to which homes were for sale and a vetting system for scams, though, agents became necessary to bring trust and knowledge to home buying. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Redfin Now Offers Home Purchases Without An Agent," 9 May 2019

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 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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Statistics for necessary

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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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
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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