necessary

adjective
nec·​es·​sary | \ ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce necessary (audio) \

Essential Meaning of necessary

1 : so important that you must do it or have it : absolutely needed Is it really/absolutely necessary for me to have surgery? The threat of a thunderstorm made it necessary to cancel the picnic. See More ExamplesIt's not necessary to wear a tie. Food is necessary for life. We had all the necessary ingredients. Apply another coat of paint if necessary. [=if it is needed] Take as much time as necessary. [=as much time as you need] She took the medicine only when absolutely necessary. a medically necessary procedureHide
2 formal : unable to be changed or avoided Higher prices are a necessary consequence of the company's new services. There is no necessary connection between what is legal and what is moral. [=what is legal does not always have to be moral and what is moral does not always have to be legal]

Full Definition of necessary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : absolutely needed : required Food is necessary for life.
2a : of an inevitable nature : inescapable Death is a necessary feature of the human condition.
b(1) : logically unavoidable a necessary conclusion
(2) : that cannot be denied without contradiction
c : determined or produced by the previous condition of things the necessary outcome of the affair
d : compulsory Taking the oath of obedience is necessary.

necessary

noun
nec·​es·​sary | \ ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce necessary (audio) \
plural necessaries

Definition of necessary (Entry 2 of 2)

: an indispensable item : essential

Examples of necessary in a Sentence

Adjective Some say that Hvorostovsky's Don Giovanni lacks the necessary menace; others find that he tosses his mane about too flamboyantly. — Francine Du Plessix Gray, New Yorker, 22 Sept. 2003 From the very outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual,  … was inseparable from his necessary indignation. — Tom Wolfe, Harper's, June 2000 Our most cataclysmic moments are typically free of gravitas, of necessary thunder; a person dies, but instead of the sky darkening and lightning striking, the sun continues to shine and the birds to sing. — Alain de Botton, Harper's, October 1998 Is it really necessary for me to have surgery? The threat of a thunderstorm made it necessary to cancel the picnic. It's not necessary to wear a tie. Food is necessary for life. We had all the necessary ingredients. She took the medicine only when absolutely necessary. Higher prices are a necessary consequence of the company's new services. Noun "I thoroughly understand you," cried Mrs. Norris, " … My dear Sir Thomas, with all my faults I have a warm heart; and, poor as I am, would rather deny myself the necessaries of life than do an ungenerous thing." — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814 I took up the two officers in my hands, put them first into my coat-pockets, and then into every other pocket about me, except my two fobs, and another secret pocket I had no mind should be searched, wherein I had some little necessaries that were of no consequence to any but myself. — Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, 1726 a modest income that provided the family with only the necessaries of life
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective More data is required to improve the precision of machine-learning’s statistical computations, and better data is necessary to ensure that the computations are true. Wired, 25 Jan. 2022 And more research is necessary to understand how to get them there. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, 24 Jan. 2022 Democrats said the rule was necessary to operate safely at a time when health officials recommended minimizing in-person contact. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, 24 Jan. 2022 Russia has built up at least 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and has threatened that conflict may be necessary to preserve its national security. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2022 Unvaccinated travelers will still need a negative test to enter, however the self-isolation period and testing on day 8 of travel will no longer be necessary as stated on the UK government site. Jamie Aranoff, Travel + Leisure, 24 Jan. 2022 The room fills with the scent of stale carrot cake, and a staff member pulls your real hair with as much force as is necessary to cause you actual pain. Weike Wang, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 In the end, Australian authorities revoked Djokovic’s visa, saying his presence could stir up anti-vaccine sentiment and that kicking him out was necessary to keep Australians safe. Angela Charlton, chicagotribune.com, 24 Jan. 2022 Both Drs Rock and Healton say daily testing after a positive COVID test is not necessary. Elizabeth Narins, Health.com, 24 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet its location on a critical trade route through the Strait of Gibraltar and the challenge of Barbary pirates in the vicinity made a more official presence for the American necessary. Graham Cornwell, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2021 Tramontana trotted downstairs, grabbed the necessaries and made the carbonara — but the experience lingered. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 11 Oct. 2019 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 13 June 2019 The large, refrigerated trailer has fruits, veggies and meat — the necessaries that make up a balanced diet. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, 10 May 2018 Everyday necessaries such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have missed time, too. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 13 June 2019 The large, refrigerated trailer has fruits, veggies and meat — the necessaries that make up a balanced diet. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, 10 May 2018 Across the way, a 10-year-old mucks out a stall, taking on all the necessaries in caring for her calf. Sharon Hoffmann And Dan Kelly, kansascity, 13 July 2017

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for necessary

Adjective and Noun

Middle English necessarie, from Latin necessarius, from necesse necessary, probably from ne- not + cedere to withdraw — more at no

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Time Traveler for necessary

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near necessary

necessariness

necessary

necessary condition

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Statistics for necessary

Last Updated

27 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Necessary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necessary. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for necessary

necessary

adjective
nec·​es·​sary | \ ˈne-sə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce necessary (audio) \

Kids Definition of necessary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: needing to be had or done : essential Food is necessary to life. I got the necessary work done first.

Other Words from necessary

necessarily \ ˌne-​sə-​ˈser-​ə-​lē \ adverb

necessary

noun
plural necessaries

Kids Definition of necessary (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is needed We left a good stock of … medicines, and some other necessaries— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

More from Merriam-Webster on necessary

Nglish: Translation of necessary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of necessary for Arabic Speakers

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