- 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
Synonyms for needSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for need
Related Words for unneededextraneous, undesirable, redundant, nonessential, superfluous, useless, accidental, additional, avoidable, casual, chance, dispensable, excess, exorbitant, expendable, extrinsic, fortuitous, futile, gratuitous, haphazard
Examples from the Web for unneeded
Contemporary Examples of unneeded
And an overzealous medical professional, hoping to safeguard against malpractice, can also be a cause of unneeded procedure.Are Routine Scans Causing Cancer?
September 17, 2014
He says they are unneeded, and he would shift two to other circuits with a higher caseload and eliminate the third.Obama Picks Pawns in Political Fight as GOP Aims to Cut Down D.C. Circuit Court
June 5, 2013
It's irresponsible and unneeded: preserving the Bush tax cuts will be tax relief achievement enough.Tax Cuts vs. Spending Cuts
February 22, 2012
Historical Examples of unneeded
His whole skill was limited to the stable-yard, and there, now, his functions were unneeded.The O'Donoghue
Charles James Lever
There is not one will dare to question me, Sir, and your caution is unneeded.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
It was a brilliant moonlight night, so that gas was unneeded.Jack of Both Sides
The monographs called for above would, then, be a not unneeded work.Essay on the Creative Imagination
Tact, finesse, all the qualities which Kit had and she had not were unneeded here.Mammon and Co.
E. F. Benson
- (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 for need
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.
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).