need

noun
\ ˈnēd \

Definition of need

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : necessary duty : obligation no need to apologize the need to pay taxes— Peter Scott
2a : a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful a building adequate for the company's needs
b : a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism health and education needs
3 : a condition requiring supply or relief The house is in need of repair. refugees in need of shelter and food
4 : lack of the means of subsistence (see subsistence sense 2) : poverty The community program provides for those in need.

need

verb
needed; needing; needs or (auxiliary) need

Definition of need (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be needful or necessary
2 : to be in want

transitive verb

: to be in need of : require

auxiliary verb

: be under necessity or obligation to you need not answer she need only wait

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Synonyms & Antonyms for need

Synonyms: Noun

absence, lack, needfulness, want

Synonyms: Verb

bear, challenge, claim, demand, necessitate, require, take, want, warrant

Antonyms: Verb

have, hold

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Examples of need in a Sentence

Noun

You can always call me at home if the need arises. These new methods reduce the need to use harmful chemicals on crops. We find that there is still a need for further discussion. There is a great need for change. Our experienced staff will go out of their way to meet your every need. He has trouble expressing his emotional needs. I felt a need to take control of the situation. a need to be loved She has an overwhelming need to be liked and respected. I don't feel the need to defend my decision.

Verb

I need some advice. What do you think of this dress? I just need a couple of minutes to get ready. Most babies need at least 12 hours of sleep a day. We badly need a vacation. Further research is urgently needed if we are to find a cure. Another delay is the last thing I need! Men? Who needs them?! I certainly don't.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Nova rocket program would rely on scaling up existing technology, which meant the possibility of fewer surprises but guaranteed extended timelines and the need for a massive budget to construct the monstrous rocket. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Real, genuine anger arises from hurt and the need to create change. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why the Kevin Hart Oscars backlash is different from other recent public shamings," 5 Jan. 2019 As the pool of potential homebuyers becomes more wealthy and selective because of the market’s rising costs, the need to upgrade older homes to be competitive drives additional renovation. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rising labor costs send the price of house construction skyward," 17 Dec. 2018 The need to build so many more towers for 5G probably isn't worth the cost outside of a city, so LTE will have to do. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while," 14 Dec. 2018 Should the need arise, then these missions must never fail. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Meet the new Air Force helicopters that can 'defy Armageddon'," 27 Sep. 2018 In September, Business Insider reported on the conditions Flex contractors face, including physically demanding work, lack of overtime wages, and, yes, feeling the need to urinate in bottles to make their deliveries on time. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 After hearing their own schedule and assessing your project's needs, work together to set out approximate start and end dates. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "Here Are The 8 Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Contractor," 26 Dec. 2018 After these latest comments and with an imminent Soyuz spacecraft launch on October 11 that will carry NASA astronaut Nick Hague to the International Space Station, the US space agency felt the need to put out a new statement on Wednesday. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "After more speculation about cause of ISS leak, NASA issues another statement," 3 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are 64 House co-sponsors in total; many more will be needed to pass the resolution in that chamber. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Resolution Gets Support From the Major 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates," 7 Feb. 2019 There needs to be little vignettes, a highlight of a single item here, and a grouping there. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Museum of Modern Art's Upcoming 'Value of Good Design' Exhibit is Not One to Miss," 7 Feb. 2019 Both Raddatz and Mann agree that for these flights to make financial sense, an airline needs to be carrying predominantly premium-class passengers to pay the heftier fees to cover the fuel costs. Kristen Leigh Painter, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Air Travel Will Change in 2019," 13 Dec. 2018 In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to fix the position of a joint. Korin Miller, SELF, "Claire Foy on What It Was Like to Have 'Extremely Painful' Juvenile Arthritis," 9 Jan. 2019 More resources are needed to adjudicate asylum claims more rapidly, to secure people with pending claims in sustainable and humane ways, and to assist Central American countries in combating the underlying issues that drive people north. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The shutdown is intractable because Trump’s wall is ridiculous and Republicans know it," 8 Jan. 2019 While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of getting a massage, this form of self-care may be helpful for anxiety, depression, and headaches, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 The startup, called Malta, uses separate vats of molten salt and antifreeze-like liquid to store electricity as thermal energy and dispatch it to the grid when it's needed. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Using molten salt to store electricity isn’t just for solar thermal plants," 24 Dec. 2018 The US Space Command would be the organization in charge of space warfighting, or deciding what types of space assets are needed to help the Defense Department meet its needs. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'need.' 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 need

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for need

Noun and Verb

Middle English ned, from Old English nīed, nēd; akin to Old High German nōt distress, need, Old Prussian nautin need

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Learn More about need

Dictionary Entries near need

neddy

Nederlands

née

need

need-be

needcessity

needfire

Statistics for need

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for need

The first known use of need was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for need

need

noun

English Language Learners Definition of need

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a situation in which someone or something must do or have something
: something that a person must have : something that is needed in order to live or succeed or be happy
: a strong feeling that you must have or do something

need

verb

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

: to be in a condition or situation in which you must have (something) : to require (something)
used to say that some action is necessary usually followed by to + verb
used to say that it is important and necessary for someone to do something followed by to + verb

need

verb
\ ˈnēd \
needed; needing

Kids Definition of need

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to suffer from the lack of something important to life or health Give to those who need.
2 : to be necessary Something needs to be done.
3 : to be without : require I need advice. He bought what he needed.

need

noun

Kids Definition of need (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that must be done : obligation An electrician understands the need to be careful.
2 : a lack of something necessary, useful, or desired After losing his job, he was in great need.
3 : something necessary or desired Our daily needs are few.

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More from Merriam-Webster on need

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with need

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for need

Spanish Central: Translation of need

Nglish: Translation of need for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of need for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about need

Comments on need

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