need

noun
\ ˈnēd How to pronounce need (audio) \

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

Or have Nymeria make a last-second return for Arya in her time of need? Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Will the Direwolves Come Back on 'Game of Thrones'?," 12 May 2019 Together initiative, and links users in need with a member of its 1,000-person volunteer team to talk through the situation and work toward solutions. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Cambridges & Sussexes Launch Mental Health Texting Service Shout," 9 May 2019 There’s no need to swear off ice cream or cookies for good. Marygrace Taylor, Woman's Day, "4 Heart-Healthy Diet Changes Every Woman Should Make," 1 May 2019 The government’s inability to cope with rising needs has fueled criticism and anger even among its support base. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019 What started as a need for more attention developed into a real passion and love for me. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Meet Erin Krakow: The Record-Breaking Hallmark Star From 'When Calls the Heart'," 25 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 And, the need to raise more and more money, and the political capital that comes from not being associated with the D.C. swamp, offers more incentive for politicians to make any stay in the Capitol a quick one. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a point about housing for Congress," 21 Nov. 2018 The need for a larger bathroom may have sparked this ambitious remodel, but the kitchen also played a defining role. Nick Sullivan, ELLE Decor, "A Snug New York Bachelor Pad Is Morphed Into a Swank and Spacious Home," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Nazima Qureshi, SELF, "5 Energizing, Plant-Based Dishes This R.D. Relies on During Ramadan," 3 May 2019 Over the next day, McConnell periodically checked in on his creation, stopping to break it up as needed. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "This Mad Science Experiment Is the Key to the Perfect Mint Julep," 3 May 2019 Cook the remaining batter, adding more bacon fat to the pan if needed. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "9 Easy Kentucky Derby Recipe Ideas You Can Whip Up In No Time," 3 May 2019 But white doesn’t need to be relegated to minimalism and museum-chic. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Simplicity of White," 1 May 2019 Indeed notes that having the details of your raise request on hand will be useful if your manager needs to meet with their supervisor to discuss it. Josephine Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "How to Ask For a Raise," 18 Apr. 2019 The paintings will be moved to the Louvre on Friday, where experts will assess and restore them as needed. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "What Was Lost in the Notre-Dame Fire," 16 Apr. 2019 To do that, Cortana (or another agent) needed to be able to sense the world around it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Cortana AI gives programmable bots listening and decisionmaking skills," 2 May 2019 And with these star pieces in the home, there needed to be a proper supporting cast. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside an Unconventionally Glam Family Home in Chicago’s Historic Palmolive Building," 30 Apr. 2019

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

21 May 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 How to pronounce need (audio) \
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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