noun, plural ne·ces·si·ties.
Origin of necessity
Synonyms for necessity
noun plural -ties
- a condition, principle, or conclusion that cannot be otherwise
- the constraining force of physical determinants on all aspects of lifeCompare freedom (def. 8)
- the property of being necessary
- a statement asserting that some property is essential or statement is necessarily true
- the operator that indicates that the expression it modifies is true in all possible worldsUsual symbol: □, ∟
late 14c., "constraining power of circumstances," from Old French necessité "need, necessity; privation, poverty; distress, torment; obligation, duty" (12c.), from Latin necessitatem (nominative necessitas) "compulsion, need for attention, unavoidableness, destiny," from necesse (see necessary). Meaning "condition of being in need" in English is from late 15c.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. [Richard Franck, c.1624-1708, English author and angler, "Northern Memoirs," 1658]
To maken vertu of necessite is in Chaucer. Related: Necessities.
In addition to the idiom beginning with necessity
- necessity is the mother of invention
- make a virtue of necessity
- of necessity