need·​less ˈnēd-ləs How to pronounce needless (audio)
: not needed : unnecessary
needless waste
needlessly adverb
needlessness noun
needless to say
: as is self-evident or to be expected

Example Sentences

needless expenditures that pushed the construction project way over budget
Recent Examples on the Web The government’s debt ceiling standoff is a dangerous and needless game akin to walking on a busy street with our eyes closed, while putting Americans’ entire livelihoods at stake, according to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 17 May 2023 This has created, among public personages who want to avoid needless controversy, a tendency to suggest commodity baskets as a guide to policy, rather than gold itself. Nathan Lewis, Forbes, 3 May 2023 And the way this legacy antihero is treated like an afterthought, a needless addition to the supervillian roster, a half-baked Promethean concept and, later, a plot convenience is a huge bummer for fans. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 28 Apr. 2023 There’s some rough stuff in here, perhaps needless to say. Chris Willman, Variety, 24 Mar. 2023 But, needless to say, Brown doesn’t seem to be very appreciative. Ryann Liebenthal, The New Republic, 9 May 2023 By threatening access to early screening and interventions, this ruling could shorten lives and cause needless suffering. Naomi Seiler, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2023 Appalachian Voices, a plaintiff to litigation against MVP, said the Biden administration is stepping on its own feet and that Granholm’s letter was a needless insertion into the process. Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner, 25 Apr. 2023 Academic outreach is at the very foundation of IHMC’s mission, and needless to say...our entire organization is incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to continually inspire future generations. IEEE Spectrum, 21 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'needless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near needless

Cite this Entry

“Needless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


need·​less ˈnēd-ləs How to pronounce needless (audio)
needlessly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on needless

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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