verb (used with object), re·quired, re·quir·ing.

verb (used without object), re·quired, re·quir·ing.

to demand; impose obligation: to do as the law requires.

Origin of require

1300–50; Middle English requiren < Latin requīrere, equivalent to re- re- + -quīrere, combining form of quaerere to seek, search for (cf. quest)
Related formsre·quir·a·ble, adjectivere·quir·er, nounnon·re·quir·a·ble, adjectivepre·re·quire, verb (used with object), pre·re·quired, pre·re·quir·ing.qua·si-re·quired, adjectiveun·re·quired, adjective

Synonyms for require

Synonym study

1. See lack. 3. See demand.

Antonyms for require

3. forgo. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for required

Contemporary Examples of required

Historical Examples of required

  • He was then required to swear by all the gods, and by the dreaded Erinnys, that he had spoken truly.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It required all the captain's seamanship, and the efforts of all the crew, to withstand it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I can only say that if my services are required I shall be found ready and willing.

  • My brother went off to the boat and brought ashore the things we required.

  • But what was it that Evelyn had required of Mary and that Mary had bluntly refused to do?

British Dictionary definitions for required


verb (mainly tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive)

to have need of; depend upon; want
to impose as a necessity; make necessarythis work requires precision
(also intr) to make formal request (for); insist upon or demand, esp as an obligation
to call upon or oblige (a person) authoritatively; order or commandto require someone to account for his actions
Derived Formsrequirable, adjectiverequirer, noun

Word Origin for require

C14: from Old French requerre, from Vulgar Latin requaerere (unattested) to seek after, from Latin requīrere to seek to know, but also influenced by quaerere to seek


The use of require to as in I require to see the manager or you require to complete a special form is thought by many people to be incorrect: I need to see the manager; you are required to complete a special form
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 required

c.1600, past participle adjective from require (v.). Required reading attested from 1881.



late 14c., "to ask a question, inquire," from Old French requerre "seek, procure; beg, ask, petition; demand," from Vulgar Latin *requaerere, from Latin requirere "seek to know, ask," from re-, here perhaps meaning "repeatedly" (see re-), + quaerere "ask, seek" (see query (v.)).

The original sense of this word has been taken over by request (v.). Sense of "demand (someone) to do (something)" is from 1751, via the notion of "to ask for imperatively, or as a right" (late 14c.). Related: Required; requiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper