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

Example Sentences

the toy requires four batteries, which are not included
Recent Examples on the Web And Bullitt East will likely require another similar performance, if not better, in Saturday’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Valley. Jake Adams, The Courier-Journal, 2 Mar. 2023 That, in turn, would require some adjustments on the infield since Anderson was expected to play a good deal of third base. Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel, 1 Mar. 2023 Moreover, building a sense of community in such co-living arrangements can require a lot of effort. Kimberley Mok, Treehugger, 1 Mar. 2023 What to Consider: Foam cushions do require more upkeep than a non-fabric chair. Rena Behar, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2023 Pediatric patients will require a smaller chest piece compared to the adult population. Lindsay Modglin, Verywell Health, 1 Mar. 2023 Both visas would also require an additional $600 surcharge. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 1 Mar. 2023 Universal background checks would require a background check for all firearm purchases in Michigan. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 1 Mar. 2023 And in a worst-case scenario, in which temperatures fell and Russia halted supplies, the level of cuts needed to avoid a complete supply emergency would require a 30% reduction. Breanne Deppisch, Washington Examiner, 1 Mar. 2023 See More

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.

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 27 Mar. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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