[ need ]
/ nid /
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.
verb (used with object)
to have need of; require: to need money.
verb (used without object)
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.
SYNONYMS FOR need
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Idioms for need
if need be, should the necessity arise: If need be, I can type the letters myself.
Origin of need
before 900; (noun) Middle English nede,Old English nēd (WSaxon nīed), cognate with German Not,Old Norse nauth,Gothic nauths; (v.) Middle English neden,Old English nēodian, derivative of the noun
synonym study for need
2, 3. See lack. 4. Need, necessity imply a want, a lack, or a demand, which must be filled. Need, a word of Old English origin, has connotations that make it strong in emotional appeal: the need to be appreciated. Necessity, a word of Latin origin, is more formal and impersonal or objective; though much stronger than need in expressing urgency or imperative demand, it is less effective in appealing to the emotions: Water is a necessity for living things. 7. See poverty.
OTHER WORDS FROM needneeder, nounun·need·ed, adjectivewell-needed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for need
/ (niːd) /
(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
See also needs
Word Origin for need
Old English nēad, nied; related to Old Frisian nēd, Old Saxon nōd, Old High German nōt
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
Idioms and Phrases with need
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).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.