- something necessary or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.
- the fact of being necessary or indispensable; indispensability: the necessity of adequate housing.
- an imperative requirement or need for something: the necessity for a quick decision.
- the state or fact of being necessary or inevitable: to face the necessity of testifying in court.
- an unavoidable need or compulsion to do something: not by choice but by necessity.
- a state of being in financial need; poverty: a family in dire necessity.
- Philosophy. the quality of following inevitably from logical, physical, or moral laws.
- of necessity, as an inevitable result; unavoidably; necessarily: Our trip to China must of necessity be postponed for a while.
Origin of necessity
SynonymsSee more synonyms for necessity on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for necessities
“It was this idea of prayer, and one of the necessities of the prayer pose being the blindfold,” he explained.‘True Detective’s’ Godless Universe: Is the HBO Show Anti-Christian?
March 6, 2014
“The government is stuck between [strategic] necessities and its social/political aims,” he said.Erdogan’s Foreign Policy Reset
January 25, 2014
At the margins, that means more people are able to pay for the necessities of life with their incomes.The Phony Food-Stamp Scare
July 15, 2013
I worry about the ability of the Zionist left to recognize these necessities and adapt to them.Whither The Israeli Left?
Brent E. Sasley
January 24, 2013
As necessities grow scarce, the suffering will spread, from the poor to the middle class, and perhaps higher.Iran and the Sanctions Trap
Stephen L. Carter
July 31, 2011
You will never find us taking advantage of the necessities of the public.
It came from the furnace of the Revolution, tempered to the necessities of the times.
It was not difficult to find a lawyer suited to the necessities of the undertaking.Within the Law
Remember the interpositions of God to supply the necessities of the destitute.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
Comforts, even most desirable comforts, are not necessities.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
- (sometimes plural) something needed for a desired result; prerequisitenecessities of life
- a condition or set of circumstances, such as physical laws or social rules, that inevitably requires a certain resultit is a matter of necessity to wear formal clothes when meeting the Queen
- the state or quality of being obligatory or unavoidable
- urgent requirement, as in an emergency or misfortunein time of necessity we must all work together
- poverty or want
- rare compulsion through laws of nature; fate
- a condition, principle, or conclusion that cannot be otherwise
- the constraining force of physical determinants on all aspects of lifeCompare freedom (def. 8)
- the property of being necessary
- a statement asserting that some property is essential or statement is necessarily true
- the operator that indicates that the expression it modifies is true in all possible worldsUsual symbol: □, ∟
- of necessity inevitably; necessarily
Word Origin and History for necessities
late 14c., "constraining power of circumstances," from Old French necessité "need, necessity; privation, poverty; distress, torment; obligation, duty" (12c.), from Latin necessitatem (nominative necessitas) "compulsion, need for attention, unavoidableness, destiny," from necesse (see necessary). Meaning "condition of being in need" in English is from late 15c.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. [Richard Franck, c.1624-1708, English author and angler, "Northern Memoirs," 1658]
To maken vertu of necessite is in Chaucer. Related: Necessities.
Idioms and Phrases with necessities
In addition to the idiom beginning with necessity
- necessity is the mother of invention
- make a virtue of necessity
- of necessity