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See more synonyms for needy on Thesaurus.com
adjective, need·i·er, need·i·est.
  1. in a condition of need or want; poverty-stricken; impoverished; extremely poor; destitute.
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  1. (used with a plural verb) needy persons collectively (usually preceded by the): Help the needy.
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Origin of needy

1125–75; Middle English nedi; see need, -y1
Related formsneed·i·ly, adverbun·need·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for needy


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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper