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Related to necessity: certainty


n. pl. ne·ces·si·ties
a. The condition or quality of being necessary.
b. Something necessary: The necessities of life include food, clothing, and shelter.
a. Something dictated by invariable physical laws.
b. The force exerted by circumstance.
3. The state or fact of being in need.
4. Pressing or urgent need, especially that arising from poverty.
of necessity
As an inevitable consequence; necessarily.

[Middle English necessite, from Old French, from Latin necessitās, from necesse, necessary; see necessary.]


n, pl -ties
1. (sometimes plural) something needed for a desired result; prerequisite: necessities of life.
2. a condition or set of circumstances, such as physical laws or social rules, that inevitably requires a certain result: it is a matter of necessity to wear formal clothes when meeting the Queen.
3. the state or quality of being obligatory or unavoidable
4. urgent requirement, as in an emergency or misfortune: in time of necessity we must all work together.
5. poverty or want
6. rare compulsion through laws of nature; fate
7. (Philosophy) philosophy
a. a condition, principle, or conclusion that cannot be otherwise
b. the constraining force of physical determinants on all aspects of life. Compare freedom8
8. (Logic) logic
a. the property of being necessary
b. a statement asserting that some property is essential or statement is necessarily true
c. the operator that indicates that the expression it modifies is true in all possible worlds. Usual symbol: or
9. of necessity inevitably; necessarily


(nəˈsɛs ɪ ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. something necessary or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.
2. the fact of being necessary or indispensable; indispensability: the necessity of adequate housing.
3. an imperative requirement or need for something: a necessity for a quick decision.
4. the state or fact of being necessary or inevitable: to face the necessity of testifying in court.
5. an unavoidable need or compulsion to do something: not by choice but by necessity.
6. a state of being in financial need; poverty: a family in dire necessity.
7. Philos. the quality of following inevitably from logical, physical, or moral laws.
of necessity, inevitably; unavoidably; necessarily.
[1325–75; Middle English necessite < Latin necessitās=necess(e) needful + -itās -ity]




  1. Crucial as the last game of the World Series —Anon
  2. Essential as marrow —Curtis White
  3. I need it like I need a hole in the head —Anon

    A Yiddish simile, typical of the colorful irony that has caused so many Jewish immigrant expressions to become integrated into American English.

  4. Necessary and invisible like drafts of oxygen —Thomas Lux
  5. Necessary as water to a healthy lawn —Anon
  6. Necessary as a gardener to his garden —John Ray’s Proverbs
  7. Necessary as an anesthesiologist to an operation —Mary Morris
  8. Necessary as applause to an actor —Anon
  9. Necessary as a saw to a carpenter —Anon
  10. Necessary as bytes to a computer —Anon
  11. Necessary as Christmas to retailers —Anon
  12. Necessary as eggs in an omelette —Anon
  13. Necessary as gas to a car —Anon
  14. Necessary as good lines to a play —Anon
  15. Necessary as markings on a scale or a thermometer —Anon
  16. Necessary as a paycheck to a worker —Anon
  17. Necessary as practice to a musician —Anon
  18. Necessary as quartz for a digital watch —Anon
  19. Necessary as snow to a ski weekend —Anon
  20. Necessary as sturdy shoes to a runner —Anon
  21. Necessary as sunshine to a garden —Anon
  22. Necessary as wages —John Braine
  23. Necessary as workouts to an athlete —Anon
  24. Necessary as work to a workaholic —Anon
  25. (Men are as) necessary to her survival as water —Patricia Henley
  26. Need as a dog needs a pocket handkerchief —Anon

    “Need as” similes with opposite meanings lend themselves to endless variations.


  27. Needed a ten minute head start like Sinatra needed singing lessons —John Lutz
  28. Need … like a fish needs a bicycle —Robert B. Parker
  29. Needs as a dog needs two tails —American colloquialism, attributed to New England

    The exact wording of this, as with anything handed down through common usage varies with each user; for example, a popular variation of the same theme is “He don’t need it any more than a dog needs two tails.”

  30. Need … to simplify, almost like some painfully obese gourmet craving a stay at a health farm —John Fowles
  31. Something she needs like a new navel —Richard Ford
  32. As superfluous as a Gideon’s Bible at the Ritz —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  33. Superfluous as to light as a candle to the sun —Robert South
  34. Unnecessary like rubbish —Henia Karmel-Wolfe
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.necessity - the condition of being essential or indispensable
need, demand - a condition requiring relief; "she satisfied his need for affection"; "God has no need of men to accomplish His work"; "there is a demand for jobs"
requisiteness - the state of being absolutely required
urgency - the state of being urgent; an earnest and insistent necessity
2.necessity - anything indispensable; "food and shelter are necessities of life"; "the essentials of the good life"; "allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions"; "a place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained"
thing - a separate and self-contained entity
desideratum - something desired as a necessity; "the desiderata for a vacation are time and money"
must - a necessary or essential thing; "seat belts are an absolute must"
need, want - anything that is necessary but lacking; "he had sufficient means to meet his simple needs"; "I tried to supply his wants"


1. need, demand, requirement, exigency, indispensability, needfulness There is agreement on the necessity of reforms.
2. essential, need, necessary, requirement, fundamental, requisite, prerequisite, sine qua non (Latin), desideratum, want Water is a basic necessity of life.
3. inevitability, certainty, inexorability, ineluctability, shoo-in (U.S. & Canad.) the ultimate necessity of death
4. poverty, need, privation, penury, destitution, extremity, indigence They were reduced to begging through economic necessity.
plural noun
1. essentials, needs, requirements, fundamentals They sometimes had to struggle to pay for necessities.
of necessity necessarily, inevitably, unavoidably, perforce, nolens volens (Latin) The recommendations made in this handbook are, of necessity, fairly general.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" [Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels]
"Necessity never made a good bargain" [Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanac]
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves" [William Pitt speech]
"You make a virtue of necessity" [Saint Jerome Apologeticum adversus Rufinum]
"Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessities" [John Lothrop Motley]
"Necessity knows no law"
"Needs must when the devil drives"


1. That which provides a reason or justification:
call, cause, ground (often used in plural), justification, occasion, reason, wherefore, why.
Idiom: why and wherefore.
3. A condition in which something necessary or desirable is required or wanted:
sự cần thiết


[nɪˈsesɪtɪ] N
1. (= need) → necesidad f
I don't see the necessity of itno veo la necesidad de eso
there is no necessity for you to do itno es necesario que lo hagas
she works from economic necessitytrabaja por necesidad
of necessitynecesariamente, forzosamente, por fuerza
out of sheer necessitypor pura necesidad
necessity is the mother of inventionla necesidad agudiza el ingenio
2. (= necessary thing) → necesidad f
necessities such as food and clothing were in short supplyescaseaban artículos de primera necesidad tales como la comida y la ropa
the basic necessities of lifelas necesidades básicas (de la vida)
see also bare A3
3. (= unavoidable thing) the curfew was seen as a regrettable necessityel toque de queda era visto como un mal necesario


[nəˈsɛsɪti] n
(= need) → nécessité f
the necessity to do sth → la nécessité de faire qch
Young people must be made aware of the necessity to look after the environment → On doit rendre les jeunes conscients de la nécessité de prendre soin de l'environnement.
there is no necessity to do this → il n'y a pas lieu de faire ça
There is no necessity for us to do anything → Il n'y a pas lieu pour nous de faire quoi que ce soit.
the necessity of doing sth → la nécessité de faire qch
Freed from the necessity of earning a living, he decided to travel → Libéré de la nécessité de gagner sa vie, il décida de voyager.
to be faced with the necessity of doing sth → être placé(e) devant la nécessité de faire qch
to be a matter of necessity → être une question de nécessité
in case of necessity → en cas de nécessité
to do sth out of necessity → faire qch par nécessité
She went to work not through choice but out of necessity → Elle ne travaillait pas par choix, mais par nécessité.
of necessity (= necessarily) → par nécessité
The account given here is of necessity extremely brief → Le récit donné ici est, par nécessité, extrêmement bref.
(= necessary thing) → nécessité f
For some people a car is a necessity, not a luxury → Pour certains, la voiture est une nécessité et non un luxe.
Television is considered a necessity by some → Certains considèrent la télévision comme une nécessité.


no plNotwendigkeit f; from or out of necessityaus Not; of necessitynotgedrungen, notwendigerweise; to be born of necessityaus Notwendigkeit (heraus) geschehen; he did not realize the necessity for a quick decisioner hat nicht erkannt, wie wichtig or notwendig eine schnelle Entscheidung war; it is a case of absolute necessityes ist unbedingt notwendig; there is no necessity for you to do thates besteht nicht die geringste Notwendigkeit, dass Sie das tun; necessity is the mother of invention (Prov) → Not macht erfinderisch (Prov)
no pl (= poverty)Not f, → Armut f; to live in necessityNot leiden, in Armut leben
(= necessary thing)Notwendigkeit f; the bare necessities (of life)das Notwendigste (zum Leben)


[nɪˈsɛsɪtɪ] n
there is no necessity for you to do that → non è necessario che or non c'è bisogno che tu lo faccia
the necessity of doing sth → la necessità di fare qc
is there any necessity? → è proprio necessario?, c'è proprio bisogno?
of necessity → di necessità, necessariamente
from or out of necessity → per necessità or bisogno
in case of necessity → in caso di necessità
b. (necessary thing) → cosa indispensabile, necessità f inv
the bare necessities → lo stretto necessario, il minimo indispensabile


(ˈnesisəri) adjective
needed; essential. Is it necessary to sign one's name?; I shall do all that is necessary.
ˌnecesˈsarily (-ˈse-) adverb
necessitate (niˈsesiteit) verb
to make necessary. Re-building the castle would necessitate spending a lot of money.
necessity (niˈsesəti) plural neˈcessities noun
something needed or essential. Food is one of the necessities of life.


ضَرُورَةٌ nutnost nødvendighed Notwendigkeit αναγκαιότητα necesidad välttämättömyys nécessité nužnost necessità 必要性 필요성 noodzaak nødvendighet potrzeba necessidade необходимость nödvändighet ความจำเป็น gereklilik sự cần thiết 必要性


n. necesidad, obligación.
References in classic literature ?
Being still too young to go often to the theater, and not rich enough to afford any great outlay for private performances, the girls put their wits to work, and necessity being the mother of invention, made whatever they needed.
With a rush of new deter- mination he worked on his sermons all through the week and forgot, in his zeal to reach the ears and the soul of this new listener, both his embarrassment in the pulpit and the necessity of prayer in the study on Sunday mornings.
aware of the necessity for making inquiries of one who knew that part of the jungle, quickly called to him.
She could gather nothing from them but the feeling of a distinct necessity to quit her home in the morning.
When they rejoined the expecting and anxious females, he briefly acquainted them with the conditions of their new guide, and with the necessity that existed for their hushing every apprehension in instant and serious exertions.
I confess I never before was under greater necessity of exercising philosophy and fortitude.
The necessity of changing hands at times with their burdens brought a corresponding change of cavalier at the lady's side, although it was observed that the younger Kearney, for the sake of continuing a conversation with Miss Jessie, kept his grasp of the handle nearest the young lady until his hand was nearly cut through, and his arm worn out by exhaustion.
Hitherto, the life-blood has been gradually chilling in your veins as you sat aloof, within your circle of gentility, while the rest of the world was fighting out its battle with one kind of necessity or another.
Thus, by an inevitable necessity, as a magnet attracts steel-filings, so did our man of business draw to himself the difficulties which everybody met with.
The maids and the men looked blank; the effect of which on my nerves was an aggravation until I saw the necessity of making it a positive aid.
Meantime, Queequeg's impulsive, indifferent sword, sometimes hitting the woof slantingly, or crookedly, or strongly, or weakly, as the case might be; and by this difference in the concluding blow producing a corresponding contrast in the final aspect of the completed fabric; this savage's sword, thought I, which thus finally shapes and fashions both warp and woof; this easy, indifferent sword must be chance --aye, chance, free will, and necessity --no wise incompatible --all interweavingly working together.
Wherefore the necessity for his periodical visits to the upper world.