need·​less | \ˈnēd-ləs \

Definition of needless 

: not needed : unnecessary needless waste

needless to say

: as is self-evident or to be expected

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Other Words from needless

needlessly adverb
needlessness noun

Examples of needless in a Sentence

needless expenditures that pushed the construction project way over budget

Recent Examples on the Web

The United States almost defaulted on its debts, which would have plunged the entire world economy into a financial crisis and destroyed hundreds of billions if not trillions in wealth and caused needless human misery. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018 Despite the situation being technically resolved, needless to say, social media backlash has been swift, with calls for a boycott of Waffle House quickly mounting. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Are We Done Yet With Waffle House? Viral Video Shows Black Couple Being Arrested for Questioning Juice Charge at Florida Waffle House," 14 June 2018 One week, one metro area, one medium-sized city, one substance, 18 needless deaths. Peter King,, "Monday Morning Mock Draft: Darts, Deals & Wild Guesses," 23 Apr. 2018 The recent violence in Gaza has resulted in many needless deaths and injuries. Washington Post, "UN chief warns that Mideast ‘chaos’ threatens global peace," 13 Apr. 2018 And needless to say, get your fix with just a few (not the entire batch)., "6 “Healthy” Snacks a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet," 6 Apr. 2018 Author Kellner lamented the needless deaths because of Hitler’s folly. David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News, "German citizen’s WWII diary detailed what was to come," 8 Mar. 2018 Director Stephen Maing shows how the policy of forcing officers — mostly minorities — to make needless arrests is designed to raise money for the city budget. Peter Keough,, "IFFBoston documentaries feature conspiracies and compassion," 19 Apr. 2018 American voters have long evinced a tacit belief that deporting law-abiding, longtime U.S. residents is a cruel and needless enterprise. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Abolishing ICE Is About As Popular As Trump’s Immigration Agenda," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'needless.' 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 needless

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for needless

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for needless

The first known use of needless was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for needless



English Language Learners Definition of needless

: not needed or necessary


need·​less | \ˈnēd-ləs \

Kids Definition of needless

: unnecessary … he moved furtively forwards, never taking any needless chances or making sudden movements.— Brian Jacques, Redwall

Other Words from needless

needlessly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on needless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with needless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for needless

Spanish Central: Translation of needless

Nglish: Translation of needless for Spanish Speakers

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