necessary, required, or wanted (usually used in combination): a much-needed vacation.

Nearby words

  1. nederland,
  2. nedette,
  3. nee,
  4. need,
  5. need like a hole in the head,
  6. needfire,
  7. needful,
  8. needfully,
  9. needham,
  10. neediness

Origin of needed

First recorded in 1610–20; need + -ed2




a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation: There is no need for you to go there.
a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary: to fulfill the needs of the assignment.
urgent want, as of something requisite: He has no need of your charity.
necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case: There is no need to worry.
a situation or time of difficulty; exigency: to help a friend in need; to be a friend in need.
a condition marked by the lack of something requisite: the need for leadership.
destitution; extreme poverty: The family's need is acute.

verb (used with object)

to have need of; require: to need money.

verb (used without object)

to be under an obligation (used as an auxiliary, typically in an interrogative or in a negative statement, and followed by infinitive, in certain cases without to; in the 3d person singular the form is need, not needs): He need not go.
to be in need or want.
to be necessary: There needs no apology.

Origin of need

before 900; (noun) Middle English nede, Old English nēd (WSaxon nīed), cognate with German Not, Old Norse nauth, Gothic nauths; (v.) Middle English neden, Old English nēodian, derivative of the noun

Related formsneed·er, nounun·need·ed, adjectivewell-need·ed, adjective

Synonym study

2, 3. See lack. 4. Need, necessity imply a want, a lack, or a demand, which must be filled. Need, a word of Old English origin, has connotations that make it strong in emotional appeal: the need to be appreciated. Necessity, a word of Latin origin, is more formal and impersonal or objective; though much stronger than need in expressing urgency or imperative demand, it is less effective in appealing to the emotions: Water is a necessity for living things. 7. See poverty. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for needed

British Dictionary definitions for needed



(tr) to be in want ofto need money
(tr) to require or be required of necessity (to be or do something); be obligedto need to do more work
(takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary in negative and interrogative sentences to express necessity or obligation, and does not add -s when used with he, she, it, and singular nounsneed he go?
(intr) archaic to be essential or necessary tothere needs no reason for this


the fact or an instance of feeling the lack of somethinghe has need of a new coat
a requirementthe need for vengeance
necessity or obligation resulting from some situationno need to be frightened
distress or extremitya friend in need
extreme poverty or destitution; penury
See also needs

Word Origin for need

Old English nēad, nied; related to Old Frisian nēd, Old Saxon nōd, Old High German nōt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for needed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with needed


In addition to the idiom beginning with need

  • needle in a haystack
  • needless to say
  • need like a hole in the head

also see:

  • cry for (crying need for).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.