re·​quire | \ri-ˈkwī(-ə)r \
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


bear, challenge, claim, demand, necessitate, need, take, want, warrant


have, hold

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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

The big one strikes early Daytona is one of two tracks where cars are required to have restrictor plates, limiting their speeds for safety. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Breaking down the 7 craziest moments from NASCAR's summer Daytona race," 10 July 2018 The court is required to rule within 90 days of oral arguments, which would make its deadline late August. David Garrick,, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 County commissioners, however, are not required to follow the staff’s report nor the planning and zoning board’s recommendation. Martin E. Comas,, "East Seminole residents express relief after board rejects rural development but ready for future battles," 13 July 2018 No community is required to adopt a Community Benefit District., "Should Massachusetts allow cities and towns to create Community Benefit Districts?," 13 July 2018 If a farm lies outside one of the zones, a permit would be required to shoot the birds. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 This need not presage a darker time, like Rome’s withdrawal from Britain, but more will be required of the world’s other free countries. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 Often, they are required to retake the entire course load to complete the degree. Ita Tsai,, "Internationally educated nurses to help with the US nursing shortage," 13 July 2018 District-level staff pulled surveillance footage connected to the incident, as required by the use-of-force policy adopted two years ago, before identifying the incident for review by SIRT and eventually the state’s attorney. Talia Richman,, "'I only ever wanted justice,' says 18-year-old allegedly assaulted by Baltimore officer," 14 July 2018

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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Statistics for require

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for require

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

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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 \
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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Comments on require

What made you want to look up require? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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