re·​quire | \ ri-ˈkwī(-ə)r How to pronounce require (audio) \
required; requiring

Definition of require

transitive verb

1a : to claim or ask for by right and authority
b archaic : request
2a : to call for as suitable or appropriate the occasion requires formal dress
b : to demand as necessary or essential : have a compelling need for all living beings require food
3 : to impose a compulsion or command on : compel
4 chiefly British : to feel or be obliged used with a following infinitive one does not require to be a specialist— Elizabeth Bowen

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Synonyms & Antonyms for require



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demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Examples of require in a Sentence

the toy requires four batteries, which are not included
Recent Examples on the Web Everybody’s tax situation is unique and might require different forms. ProPublica, "Where Can I Get Tax Forms?," 19 Apr. 2021 The regulations required small refrigerators and freezers to be HFC-free by Jan. 1, 2021, and will require full-size refrigerators and freezers to make the switch by the beginning of 2022. Phil Mckenna, The Courier-Journal, "Finally. Refrigerator manufacturers to start giving you climate-friendly info you need," 19 Apr. 2021 The two bills also would forbid changes to the Alamo Cenotaph in San Antonio and require state universities to have policies and votes by their governing boards before removing monuments or stripping names from buildings and streets. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Texas Legislature renews fight over removing Confederate monuments, other historical markers," 19 Apr. 2021 Daytime moisturizers wear better under makeup, and nighttime moisturizers are thicker and require more time for absorption. Sian Babish,, "How to get rid of dry skin on your face," 18 Apr. 2021 Many of the other residents have late-stage dementia or require round-the-clock care. al, "After COVID lockdowns, growing calls for alternatives to nursing homes in Alabama," 18 Apr. 2021 Included in the state's nine-page guidance, other in-person gatherings would need to conduct health screenings, enforce social distancing between households and require masks. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, "What proms and graduations might look like this year with COVID-19 still looming," 18 Apr. 2021 Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi have passed measures to prevent children’s access to firearms, none of which require inspections to ensure compliance. Arkansas Online, "VIOLENT REALITY: Arkansas ranks 7th in gun deaths, but weapons restrictions not on table," 17 Apr. 2021 Gel polishes are painted on, similarly to regular nail polish, and require UV or LED light to harden. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "The Major Differences Between Gel and Dip Powder Nails," 17 Apr. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for require

Middle English requeren, from Anglo-French requere, from Vulgar Latin *requaerere to seek for, need, require, alteration of Latin requirere, from re- + quaerere to seek, ask

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Time Traveler for require

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for require

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Require.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for require



English Language Learners Definition of require

: to need (something)
: to make it necessary for someone to do something


re·​quire | \ ri-ˈkwīr How to pronounce require (audio) \
required; requiring

Kids Definition of require

1 : to have a need for This trick requires skill.
2 : order entry 1 sense 2, command The law requires drivers to wear seat belts.

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