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 infinitiveone does not require to be a specialist— Elizabeth Bowen

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for require



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Most people aren’t currently in the process of deciding whether or not to have a kid, and 85 percent of Americans drive to work and live in cities designed to require a car. Kate Wheeling, The New Republic, "Jonathan Safran Foer on Our Moral Obligation to Eat Better," 17 Sep. 2019 Six other questions will be on the ballot, including one to declare the winner in a council race to whoever gets the most votes, or a plurality, or whether to require the winner to receive more than 50% of the vote. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Mount Dora residents can learn about proposed charter changes at public meeting," 16 Sep. 2019 The safety board placed primary blame on Sound Transit, which owns the $181 million corridor, for failing to require safety improvements near the curve, where the 80 mph speed limit dropped to 30 mph. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Jury awards $17 million to 3 plaintiffs in deadly Amtrak derailment," 14 Sep. 2019 Often, this kind of distinction seems to require those different classes of players to seek out entirely different games. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Every game should copy Death Stranding’s “Very Easy Mode”," 13 Sep. 2019 Cain's provocation came shortly after a moderator at Thursday night's debate asked O'Rourke if his proposal to require assault rifle owners to sell their weapons to the government amounted to taking away people's guns. oregonlive, "‘My AR is ready for you,’ Texas Republican lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke over mandatory buybacks," 13 Sep. 2019 Britain’s government is mooting similar laws to require manufacturers to provide contact details for bug-hunters and to spell out how long products can expect to receive security updates. The Economist, "A connected world will be a playground for hackers," 12 Sep. 2019 Cemetery boundaries Another part of the lawsuit states that the historical commission neglected its responsibility to require an exhaustive study to determine boundaries of the cemetery. Scott Huddleston,, "Mission descendants seek to stop $450 million Alamo overhaul until they get a say in how any human remains are handled," 10 Sep. 2019 Bevin’s administration won permission from the Trump administration to require some Medicaid recipients to get a job, go to school or volunteer to keep their benefits. Bruce Schreiner, The Courier-Journal, "New GOP ad slams Democrat Andy Beshear for 'radical views' on health care," 7 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about require

Statistics for require

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for require

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for require


How to pronounce require (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on require

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for require

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with require

Spanish Central: Translation of require

Nglish: Translation of require for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of require for Arabic Speakers

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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!