- 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.
- to have need of; require: to need money.
- 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.
- if need be, should the necessity arise: If need be, I can type the letters myself.
Origin of need
SynonymsSee more synonyms for need on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for needing
Satirists occupy a perilous position—to skewer dogma and cant, and to antagonize the establishment while needing its protection.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire
January 8, 2015
Those wishing—or needing—to give it up will be forced to do so on their own, without the support of formal medical care.Iran’s Drinking Problem
August 16, 2014
Many of the reasons these women claim for not needing feminism are embarrassingly bad.You Don’t Hate Feminism. You Just Don’t Understand It.
July 24, 2014
“If it had happened an hour earlier…” Patterson began to say then stopped, not needing to voice the implication.My Building Exploded. I Survived: Harlem Miracle Man Tells His Story
March 13, 2014
He did mention the possibility of needing a kidney one day, which I guess is something.Should You Divorce Your Family After the Holidays?
January 2, 2014
Yet she wondered if the instinct were not dormant, needing but the suggestion.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
And all of us have like wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them.A Tale of Two Cities
But what will you do when I am gone, and you yourself will be needing help?Murder Point
Here's Peter needing a box for his goods—and a pretty big one, too.The House Under the Sea
Sir Max Pemberton
"You will be needing a holiday, then," said she, with cool insolence.St. Martin's Summer
- (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
Word Origin and History for needing
Old English nied (West Saxon), ned (Mercian) "necessity, compulsion, duty; hardship, distress; errand, business," originally "violence, force," from Proto-Germanic *nauthis (cf. Old Saxon nod, Old Norse nauðr, Old Frisian ned, Middle Dutch, Dutch nood, Old High German not, German Not, Gothic nauþs "need"), probably cognate with Old Prussian nautin "need," and perhaps with Old Church Slavonic nazda, Russian nuzda, Polish nędza "misery, distress," from PIE *nau- "death, to be exhausted" (see narwhal).
The more common Old English word for "need, necessity, want" was ðearf, but they were connected via a notion of "trouble, pain," and the two formed a compound, niedðearf "need, necessity, compulsion, thing needed." Nied also might have been influenced by Old English neod "desire, longing," which often was spelled the same. Common in Old English compounds, e.g. niedfaru "compulsory journey," a euphemism for "death;" niedhæmed "rape," the second element being an Old English word meaning "sexual intercourse;" niedling "slave." Meaning "extreme poverty, destitution" is from c.1200.
Old English neodian "be necessary, be required (for some purpose); require, have need of," from the same root as need (n.). Meaning "to be under obligation (to do something)" is from late 14c. Related: Needed; needing. The adjectival phrase need-to-know is attested from 1952. Dismissive phrase who needs it?, popular from c.1960, is a translated Yiddishism.
Idioms and Phrases with needing
In addition to the idiom beginning with need
- needle in a haystack
- needless to say
- need like a hole in the head
- cry for (crying need for).