needier; neediest
: being in want : poverty-stricken
needy families
… where needy children from the community could come to get free, nutritious meals. Liza N. Burby
: marked by want of affection, attention, or emotional support
emotionally needy
The girl was needy for her mother's affection.
neediness noun

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Example Sentences

As a child, she was extremely needy and had no self-confidence. those generous souls who regularly give money and donate clothes to help the needy
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, many of you are familiar with Globe Santa, the news organization’s decades-old charitable effort that buys toys, books, and other gifts for needy kids in Greater Boston for Christmas. Teresa M. Hanafin,, 12 Aug. 2022 Seyfried and Sadoski are both animal lovers and view fostering as a way to help make room at the shelters for other needy animals. Staff Author, Peoplemag, 8 Aug. 2022 California isn’t the only state excluding seniors and other needy Americans from inflation relief efforts. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 Multiple public entities provide needy households with free air conditioners, including the city, county, state, health care providers and affordable housing operators. oregonlive, 31 July 2022 Donations in Jean’s honor can be made to the Samaritan Fund of Hope Church in Brunswick, which provides for needy members of the local community ( Sam Boyer, cleveland, 1 July 2022 Adela struggles to adapt her Dominican driving style to American legal limits; becomes addicted to supermarket coupons; deals with her visiting mother and a needy friend. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2022 Unfortunately, Milwaukee is one of the most shooting-needy teams among the championship contenders. Brian Sampson, Forbes, 20 June 2022 But give it up for the San Francisco 49ers’ Sourdough Sam, who rappelled down the Hilton at Union Square Thursday, to raise money for scholarships for needy students. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'needy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of needy was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near needy

Cite this Entry

“Needy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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Kids Definition


needier; neediest
: very poor

More from Merriam-Webster on needy

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022

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