[ nee-dee ]
/ ˈni di /

adjective, need·i·er, need·i·est.

in a condition of need or want; poverty-stricken; impoverished; extremely poor; destitute.


(used with a plural verb) needy persons collectively (usually preceded by the): Help the needy.

Origin of needy

1125–75; Middle English nedi; see need, -y1
Related formsneed·i·ly, adverbun·need·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for needies


/ (ˈniːdɪ) /

adjective needier or neediest

  1. in need of practical or emotional support; distressed
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the needy
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 needies



late 12c., neodi "poor, indigent," from need (n.) + adjectival suffix -y (2). Cf. Dutch noodig, German nothig, Old Norse nauðigr. As a noun from mid-14c. Related: Needily; neediness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper