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

In light of the increasing need for resilient infrastructure, the failure of the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan seems even more of a missed opportunity. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Climate change and the coming coastal real estate crash," 16 Oct. 2018 Picture this: Kathie Lee Gifford and Savannah Guthrie are taking a break for the day and Hoda Kotb is in need of a co-host. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: Could You Be Best Friends With Hoda Kotb?," 4 Sep. 2018 There’s no need to compromise this year—or even leave your house. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Dell and Newegg's Labor Day sales harbor huge deals on laptops, gaming PCs, and all sorts of tech," 31 Aug. 2018 Divide mixture among the ramekins, pouring any remaining custard mixture into the ramekins, then cover each with foil. Pour 1 cup water into the pressure cooker (no need to rinse) and place a steam rack in the pot. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Savory Bread Pudding," 16 Aug. 2018 No need to get out of your car, the waiter will bring it right to your window. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Ford’s self-driving cars are really good, but are they good enough to win?," 15 Nov. 2018 This groundbreaking hypothesis led to the theory of quantum mechanics, which also had no need for aether. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 Chambers also argues that the U.S. as a whole is in need of an entrepreneurial reinvention. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why tech companies need to reinvent themselves every three to four years," 10 Oct. 2018 The instructor will personally design the day according to everyone’s need and skill level, exploring with you the best beginner areas or the most advanced terrain. Discover Magazine, "The Great Snow of Beaver Creek," 3 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then in 2014, Congress passed legislation that approved small pilot programs for growing hemp, though to do so, farmers still needed approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Growing hemp is about to be legal for the first time in nearly a century," 30 Nov. 2018 The resolution needs just a simple majority to advance, but could launch an amendment process that could play out for days in the Senate. Susannah George, The Seattle Times, "Pompeo, Mattis defend Saudis as senators weigh war cutoff," 28 Nov. 2018 This motion needs to be controlled so that the links between qubits remain under control. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "An intermediary between qubits provides basis for control and scaling," 25 Nov. 2018 The drive is compatible with USB 3.0 connections (so MacBook users will need a USB-C dongle), and a pair of of front-facing USB 3.0 ports can also keep your phone and tablets charged while working. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Back up everything with this awesome deal on the 8TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub," 7 Nov. 2018 People tend to put it in the bedroom or entryway, but it can really be placed anywhere that needs more clarity. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "How to Organize Your Home in 2019, According to Marie Kondo," 29 Oct. 2018 The idea is that not everything needs to go perfectly together, but rather, should follow a laissez-faire approach. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Bohemian Design," 19 Oct. 2018 But they’re still desperately needed — more than a year later, only a handful of homes have been rebuilt. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "The fires in California highlight — and worsen — the state’s income divide," 15 Nov. 2018 The Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX’s request to launch a constellation of 7,518 satellites into orbit, a major regulatory hurdle the company needed to clear in its plans to provide internet coverage from space. Loren Grush, The Verge, "FCC approves SpaceX’s plan to launch more than 7,000 internet-beaming satellites," 15 Nov. 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

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

Verb

see need entry 1

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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

3 Dec 2018

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)

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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