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1. A condition or situation in which something must be supplied in order for a certain condition to be maintained or a desired state to be achieved: crops in need of water; a child's need for affection.
2. Something required or wanted; a requisite: "Those of us who led the charge for these women's issues ... shared a common vision in the needs of women" (Olympia Snowe).
3. Necessity; obligation: There is no need for you to go.
4. A condition of poverty or misfortune: The family is in dire need.
v. need·ed, need·ing, needs
To be under the necessity of or the obligation to: They need not come. You needn't be concerned.
1. To have need of; require: The family needs money. We need to get some more paint.
2. To have an obligation (to do something): You need to clean up your room.
3. To be subject (to an action) by obligation: Bags need to be stowed underneath the seat in front of you.
4. To want to be subject to: We don't need another lecture on the subject.
1. To be in need or want.
2. To be necessary.

[Middle English nede, from Old English nēod, nēd, distress, necessity.]
Usage Note: Depending on the sense, the verb need behaves sometimes like an auxiliary verb (such as can or may) and sometimes like a main verb (such as want or try). When used as a main verb, need agrees with its subject, takes to before the verb following it, and combines with do in questions, negations, and certain other constructions: He needs to go. Does he need to go so soon? He doesn't need to go. When used as an auxiliary verb, need does not agree with its subject, does not take to before the verb following it, and does not combine with do: He needn't go. Need he go so soon? The auxiliary forms of need are used primarily in present-tense questions, negations, and conditional clauses. Unlike can and may, auxiliary need has no form for the past tense like could and might. · When need is used as the main verb, it can be followed by a present participle, as in The car needs washing, or by to be plus a past participle, as in The car needs to be washed. However, in some areas of the United States, especially western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, many speakers omit to be and use just the past participle form, as in The car needs washed. This use of need with past participles is more common in the British Isles, being particularly prevalent in Scotland.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.needed - necessary for relief or supply; "provided them with all things needful"
necessary - absolutely essential


adjective necessary, wanted, required, lacked, lacking, called for, desired The relief programme is designed to get much needed food to drought and war-affected areas of the country.
References in classic literature ?
One day when I rode over to the Shimerdas' I found Antonia starting off on foot for Russian Peter's house, to borrow a spade Ambrosch needed.
Pontellier returned to his wife with the information that Raoul had a high fever and needed looking after.
A large, civil cocked hat, like those worn by clergymen within the last thirty years, surmounted the whole, furnishing dignity to a good-natured and somewhat vacant countenance, that apparently needed such artificial aid, to support the gravity of some high and extraordinary trust.
It was an uncomfortable sensation that left him restless because, as he appreciated, it needed expression, an outlet.
It needed only the extravagant contrast presented by that gentleman to complete the tableau.
She needed a walk along the noonday street to keep her sane.
The CFTP process can be tailored to provide the key information needed by S & T planners to be able to make an informed decision.
Developing a relationship with students was also needed as I escorted them to my room to administer assessments and/or teach them for a portion of time each day.
But profound changes also are occurring in dental practices throughout the entire country as increasing numbers of youngsters (and the not so young) with intellectual and developmental disabilities have become dependent upon local community practitioners for needed oral health services.
Concerning behavioral outcomes, there is growing evidence of positive outcomes in terms of the impact on participation in learning and in work, although more such studies are needed.
Models of effective collaboration are needed to best serve the needs of students in 21st-century schools.
I knew he probably belonged to the NRO, he lived somewhere that nobody knew, and he had my picture that I needed as the fighter pilot trying to hit a target.