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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


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:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[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
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


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
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. necesidad, obligación.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
As the claims of providers, such as MRI facilities, are subject to the medical necessity defense, notwithstanding that they may neither be responsible for the medical necessity determination or, in the case of a non-physician provider, competent to make such determination, permitting verification requests of non-applicants upon proper notification to the applicants furthers the regulatory objective that verification proceed as expeditiously as possible and assist applicants to determine the propriety of verification demands to monitor the insurer's exercise of the verification sieges and facilitate the timely production of verification."
In the January trial, Ward's defense team presented evidence of climate change and portrayed his actions as civil disobedience to prevent a greater harm, but the judge in his second trial would not allow the so-called "necessity defense."
The court refused to permit a necessity defense. That defense would have allowed me to argue that I broke the law in response to an emergency, in this case, climate change, and to present expert witnesses to testify to the gravity of the climate crisis, as well as evidence of the efficacy of nonviolent direct action in addressing precisely this kind of socio-political problem.
Statistical evidence is crucial throughout disparate impact's three-stage analysis: during (1) the plaintiff's prima facie demonstration of a policy's disparate impact; (2) the defendant's job-related business necessity defense of the discriminatory policy; and (3) the plaintiff's demonstration of an alternative policy without the same discriminatory impact.
(35) The narrowest standard yet, however, was adopted in Inclusive Communities for FHA claims, as it requires everything needed for an ADEA claim (36) but also tightens the requirements for a prima facie case and broadens the business necessity defense. (37) This updated standard could help protect lenders from disparate impact claims brought under the FHA because of the difficulty a plaintiff is faced with in proving that a specific policy or practice caused the discriminatory impact.
The medical necessity defense--in the context of marijuana prosecutions--is a variation of the common law necessity defense that applies "where physical forces beyond the actor's control rendered illegal conduct the less of two evils." (24) In United States v.
The ECB's lawyers have invoked the necessity defense, arguing that the OMT purchases of sovereign debt were necessary to avert a crisis that could have destroyed the euro and caused the breakup of the EU.
Employers that engage in this analysis are more likely to successfully meet the business necessity defense and avoid the EEOC's wrath."
Lawyers said the state's Good Samaritan Law would not likely apply to saving the life of a pet, but Roger Banks who practices in Spencer, said he'd use a "necessity defense.''