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

transitive verb

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

Examples of require in a Sentence

the toy requires four batteries, which are not included
Recent Examples on the Web While public officials are allowed to hold private jobs, Florida law requires a firewall between the two, according to Caroline Klancke, executive director of the Florida Ethics Institute. Tess Riski, Miami Herald, 9 May 2024 The unemployment rate for artists in 2022 was 3.9%, up from 3.7% in 2019–and is relatively higher than other professional workers who generally require college training, which has an unemployment rate of about 2%. Sunny Nagpaul, Fortune, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for require 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near require

Cite this Entry

“Require.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​quire ri-ˈkwī(ə)r How to pronounce require (audio)
required; requiring
: to have a need for
a game that requires skill
: order entry 1 sense 2a
the law requires that everyone pay the tax

More from Merriam-Webster on require

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