need·​less | \ ˈnēd-ləs How to pronounce needless (audio) \

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 More knowledge equals less fear, and less money wasted on needless deck beams. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Bob Kroll's departure, 'gaslighting' at the Legislature, Capitol insurrection," 12 Jan. 2021 Months later, though, the two finally decided to give dating a shot — and needless to say, things worked out for the pair. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Elaine Welteroth and Her Husband Jonathan Singletary's Incredible Love Story," 5 Jan. 2021 During the early 1990s economists and physician groups sounded alarms about a physician glut—their theory being that more doctors would result in needless treatments and health spending. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Congress’s Doctor Shortage," 4 Jan. 2021 Many red-state governors refused to require masks in public, and others did so only after needless delays. Steve Chapman,, "Column: The pandemic has been a national test. We flunked.," 30 Dec. 2020 My husband works in the hotel industry so, needless to say, our nerves were fragile. NBC News, "A fire and the Covid-19 pandemic nearly destroyed my business – Here's how I hit the reset button," 29 Dec. 2020 Simply doing what the people in blue ask you to do would drastically reduce needless confrontations, injuries and deaths. Rodney Stevens, WSJ, "If You Must Talk About Race, Be Gracious," 28 Dec. 2020 That same humble deity, in the course of putting on humanity, had obtained a glimpse of the conditions on earth—poverty, needless estrangement, a stubborn pattern of rich ruling over poor—and decided to incite a revolution that would harrow Hell. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 The Bay Area is faring better than other parts of the state, and the region may skate through this surge without the needless loss of life that seems almost inevitable elsewhere. Erin Allday,, "‘Surge upon a surge’: Experts fear the dire situation in California hospitals will get worse," 19 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for needless

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for needless

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Needless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for needless


How to pronounce needless (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of needless

: not needed or necessary


need·​less | \ ˈnēd-ləs How to pronounce needless (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on needless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for needless

Nglish: Translation of needless for Spanish Speakers

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