\ ˈnē-dē How to pronounce needy (audio) \
needier; neediest

Definition of needy

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

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Other Words from needy

neediness noun

Examples of needy in a Sentence

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 Once the pantry is built out, the Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos will help with sorting and packaging food items to gift to needy families in the area. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lions Club’s youth group donates food to Community Resource Center, rehabs food pantry," 27 Apr. 2021 With donors from across Connecticut, the effort quickly grew to include two other volunteers and outreach to needy families through social services in Mansfield Center’s town government. Washington Post, "He raised $40,000 on Facebook to feed hungry neighbors during the pandemic. Now he owes $16,000 in taxes.," 19 Apr. 2021 Furthermore, Garcetti’s proposal for next year’s homelessness spending does not include key initiatives to help needy families. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. plans nearly $1 billion in spending to address homelessness under Garcetti plan," 19 Apr. 2021 Visitors volunteer by planting trees or making Hawaiian quilts for needy elders. Kerri Westenberg,, "Celebrate a return to travel with these 7 must-see destinations," 28 Apr. 2021 Medicaid provides medical care to needy citizens and is mostly funded by the federal government but run by the states. al, "The Tennessee Trap: How one state’s war on Medicaid fraud ensnares working moms in Alabama," 26 Apr. 2021 Lance also could go to Atlanta as Matt Ryan's understudy at No. 4; be the target of a needy team trading into the top 10; go to Denver at No. 9; or still be sitting in the green room in Cleveland when the Vikings are on the clock at 14. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Small-town swag: NDSU's Trey Lance takes place among top quarterbacks in this year's NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2021 Many would choose the second option, the institute predicted, leaving the Title X program without enough providers to serve needy patients. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: A Trump-era attack on Planned Parenthood and women’s health comes to an end," 16 Apr. 2021 The wealth will be used to advance the gospel and to help the poor and needy. The Rev. Mike Taylor,, "Taylor: America is spiritually at half-staff, but help is on the way | COMMENTARY," 16 Apr. 2021

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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First Known Use of needy

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for needy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for needy

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Needy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for needy



English Language Learners Definition of needy

: not having enough money, food, etc., to live properly
: needing a lot of attention, affection, or emotional support


\ ˈnē-dē How to pronounce needy (audio) \
needier; neediest

Kids Definition of needy

: very poor

Other Words from needy

neediness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on needy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for needy

Nglish: Translation of needy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of needy for Arabic Speakers

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