adjective, need·i·er, need·i·est.
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OTHER WORDS FROM needyneed·i·ly, adverbun·need·y, adjective
Words nearby needy
What does needy mean?
Needy is an adjective meaning poor. It can also be used as a noun referring collectively to people who are poor or otherwise in need, as in Your donation will help the needy.
Another, more informal use of needy is as a negative adjective meaning demanding or having a lot needs to be met. It’s especially used to describe someone who requires a lot of attention in a relationship. A similar term is high-maintenance.
Example: The food bank is intended for needy people who have no other way to get food.
Where does needy come from?
The first records of needy come from the 1100s. It comes from the Middle English nedi. It is a combination of the word need and the suffix -y, which means “having or characterized by” and is used to form adjectives from nouns. (Someone who’s hungry has hunger. Someone who’s needy has needs.) Needy has been used as a noun for almost as long. Many adjectives are used as nouns in the same way, such as the rich and the poor. As a noun, needy commonly appears in the redundant phrase the poor and needy.
Needy is another way of saying someone is in a state of poverty. The term is especially used in the context of charity organizations whose stated mission is to help the needy through donations, community service, and other ways. Helping the needy is encouraged in many religions, and many places of worship take up collections for needy families.
The more informal use of needy is especially applied to relationship partners. It’s always negative and is often used alongside other negative adjectives like clingy and naggy. A person who’s described as needy in this sense has a lot of needs, and they expect and usually demand their needs to be prioritized above those of others.
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What are some other forms related to needy?
- needier (comparative adjective)
- neediest (superlative adjective)
- needily (adverb)
- unneedy (adjective)
What are some synonyms for needy?
What are some words that share a root or word element with needy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing needy?
How is needy used in real life?
When it means “poor” or “the poor,” needy is especially used in the context of charity. When it’s used to describe a person as demanding, it’s always negative—it might even be given as the reason someone broke up with the person they were dating.
Let no one amongst us gain or seek popularity out of giving to the needy. This is not the time for social media videos and pictures of showing off charity; the needy have dignity too!
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) April 10, 2020
I congratulate all Muslims as they commence this year’s Ramadan fast, which is depicted by self-denial, universal brotherhood, austerity and helping relatives and needy people.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) April 23, 2020
so I have realised I’m really needy and need constant attention 🥴
— mel (@melissaawilson_) April 22, 2020
Try using needy!
Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym for needy?
D. in need
Example sentences from the Web for needy
As a way to be more available to needy souls outside the church, Williams took a clerk job at Walgreens pharmacy.Exposed: The Gay-Bashing Pastor’s Same-Sex Assault|M.L. Nestel|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The foundation, named after her mother, provides financial help to needy families that are infertile.Want Blue Eyes With That Baby?: The Strange New World of Human Reproduction|Eleanor Clift|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He has close ties with the city political establishment and serves more than 200 needy families a week through his food bank.
The officers—led by a woman named Dawn Lerner—provide food and shelter at the hospital for needy people they find on the road.The Walking Dead’s ‘Slabtown’: The Real Source of Terror Isn’t Walkers, It’s Rape|Melissa Leon|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A caravan from Windsor, Ontario across the river recently delivered a couple of hundred gallons to needy customers.Detroit Shuts Off Water to Residents but Not to Businesses Who Owe Millions|Mary M. Chapman|July 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Beyond the circle of his own servants there were needy persons whom he had been charged with neglecting and even oppressing.Expositor's Bible: The Book of Job|Robert Watson
Even the needy “loafer” could not be induced to try the trip—deeming ours too dangerous an expedition.The Wild Huntress|Mayne Reid
For they were needy and poverty-stricken, whereas Katheline was comparatively well off.
Thus after all it appears that method means no more than this—to give sometimes more, sometimes less, to all needy people.
He used to leave his home at night, search for the poor and needy and feed them.The History of Sulu|Najeeb M. Saleeby
British Dictionary definitions for needy
adjective needier or neediest
- in need of practical or emotional support; distressed
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the needy