verb re·quire \ ri-ˈkwī(-ə)r \
Updated on: 15 Feb 2018

Definition of require

required; requiring
transitive verb
1 a : to claim or ask for by right and authority
b archaic : request
2 a : 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
intransitive verb
archaic : ask

Examples of require in a Sentence

  1. the toy requires four batteries, which are not included

Recent Examples of require from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

require Synonyms


have, hold;

Near Antonyms

own, possess;


call for;

Synonym Discussion of require

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

REQUIRE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of require for English Language Learners

  • : to need (something)

  • : to make it necessary for someone to do something

REQUIRE Defined for Kids


verb re·quire \ ri-ˈkwīr \

Definition of require for Students

required; requiring
1 : to have a need for
  • This trick requires skill.
2 : 1order 2, command
  • The law requires drivers to wear seat belts.

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