1

need

noun \ ˈnēd \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of need

1 : necessary duty : obligation
  • no need to apologize
  • the need to pay taxes
  • —Peter Scott
2 a : 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 2) : poverty
  • The community program provides for those in need.

Examples of need in a Sentence

  1. You can always call me at home if the need arises.

  2. These new methods reduce the need to use harmful chemicals on crops.

  3. We find that there is still a need for further discussion.

  4. There is a great need for change.

  5. Our experienced staff will go out of their way to meet your every need.

  6. He has trouble expressing his emotional needs.

  7. I felt a need to take control of the situation.

  8. a need to be loved

  9. She has an overwhelming need to be liked and respected.

  10. I don't feel the need to defend my decision.

Recent Examples of need from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of need

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


2

need

verb

Definition of need

needed; needing; needs or (auxiliary) need
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

Examples of need in a Sentence

  1. I need some advice. What do you think of this dress?

  2. I just need a couple of minutes to get ready.

  3. Most babies need at least 12 hours of sleep a day.

  4. We badly need a vacation.

  5. Further research is urgently needed if we are to find a cure.

  6. Another delay is the last thing I need!

  7. Men? Who needs them?! I certainly don't.

Recent Examples of need from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of need

see 1need

need Synonyms

Synonyms
bear, challenge, claim, demand, necessitate, require, take, want, warrant, call for
Antonyms
have, hold
Related Words
entail, involve; ask, beg, claim, clamor (for), cry (for); hurt (for), lack; command, enjoin, exact, insist, press, quest, stipulate
Near Antonyms
own, possess

NEED Defined for English Language Learners

need

noun

Definition of need for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of need for English Language Learners

  • : to be in a condition or situation in which you must have (something) : to require (something)


NEED Defined for Kids

1

need

verb \ ˈnēd \

Definition of need for Students

needed; needing
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.

2

need

noun

Definition of need for Students

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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