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

But the cartel’s peculiar needs, such as creating shell companies, laundering money and investing millions in bribes and military-grade weapons, added a high degree of complexity. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Help! My Boss Is El Chapo," 12 Jan. 2019 Large companies like Tencent that have suffered losses likely need to rely on back-up plans. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "China lifts video game ban but not for its biggest player," 29 Dec. 2018 At Degree, scientists work to calibrate the formula of different products to meet specific needs, such as smelling fresh or protecting against yellow underarm stains. Cassie Shortsleeve, Popular Mechanics, "How Scientists at Degree Men Test Antiperspirant," 20 Dec. 2018 Ideas to help the poor, like the EITC, need to take a back seat to deficit concerns. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Paul Ryan’s farewell address contained a blaze of nonsense about poverty," 20 Dec. 2018 Here, the need-to-know news from mountains in Switzerland, France, and Italy. Andrew Sessa, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Biggest Ski News in Europe This Season," 6 Dec. 2018 The death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, who died on December 8, has raised questions about Border Patrol’s responsiveness to medical needs and its capacity to deal with medical emergencies in remote areas of the border. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump administration to release hundreds of immigrant families from detention," 27 Dec. 2018 Photo: Istock Federal rules generally block hospitals from directly tying physicians’ pay to referrals, because of worries that factors other than patient needs could impact physicians’ decisions. Melanie Evans, WSJ, "The Hidden System That Explains How Your Doctor Makes Referrals," 27 Dec. 2018 The entire space is weaved with elegant, custom accents that suit her and her husband’s personal needs. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "This is How TV Personality Keltie Knight Crafted the Bedroom of Her Dreams," 25 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And in case the similarities needed to be any further solidified, Lili provided a spot-on imitation in the next pic. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Showed Off Curly Hair on Instagram," 30 Dec. 2018 Big Little Lies literally needed the culmination of female friendship to bring the series to its stunning conclusion. Anne T. Donahue, Marie Claire, "Why Don't Women on Drama Shows Have Any Friends?," 27 Dec. 2018 Furthermore, the MLB’s streaming deals with the bulk of regional sports networks expired after this season and needs to be renegotiated, which could also complicate potential streaming opportunities for Amazon. Anupreeta Das, WSJ, "Yankees in Talks With Amazon, Sinclair to Bid for YES Sports Network," 28 Dec. 2018 But while civil rights groups welcomed the new legislation, police departments and unions have been far less receptive, arguing that the measure will expose information that needs to remain private. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A California city plans to shred years of police records before a new law makes them public," 27 Dec. 2018 Obviously, that won’t apply to today’s or even tomorrow's uses cases, but with Optane storage continuing to move down the train tracks, the day is approaching when even a consumer CPU may need to talk to what seems like an insane amount of memory. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Surprise! Intel reveals 10nm Sunny Cove CPU cores that go deeper, wider, and faster," 12 Dec. 2018 The 20-minute treatment can be used on the neck or any other body area that needs a little lift. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 2018 There were cartons of ornaments that needed to be severely curated down to a handful of keepers. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 Among the modifications that would need to be made would be reinforcing the deck to withstand the heat from jet fighter engines. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Japan Unveils Plan for First Aircraft Carrier Since World War II," 11 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

15 Jan 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)

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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