Meaning of NECESSARY in English


1. to need something

2. to need someone or something very much

3. necessary

4. make it necessary to do something

5. something that is needed

6. when a job or activity needs a particular quality

7. to provide something that is needed or wanted

8. when you do not need something

9. not necessary


be addicted to drugs, drink etc : ↑ ADDICTED

see also




1. to need something

▷ need /niːd/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

if you need something, you must have it, because you cannot live, succeed, or do something without it :

▪ It’s cold outside -- you’ll need a coat.

▪ I think she might need a doctor.

▪ Do you need some help?

need something for something

▪ He needs the information for an article he’s writing.

need to do something

when it is necessary for someone to do something

▪ We need to take the cat to the vet.

need somebody to do something

▪ Do you still need volunteers to help clean up after the party?

badly need something

need something very much

▪ The team badly needs a victory.

▷ need /niːd/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

to need to be cleaned, repaired, or given attention in some way :

need cleaning/washing/mending etc

▪ My hair needs washing.

▪ Don’t forget, the plants need watering once a week.

need a wash/clean etc

▪ You don’t have to paint UPVC windows, and they need only an occasional wash down with detergent.

▷ require /rɪˈkwaɪəʳ/ [transitive verb not in progressive] formal

to need something :

▪ Guests who require special diets should inform the catering manager in advance.

▪ Is there anything further you require, sir?

▷ could do with/could use /kʊd ˈduː wɪð, kʊd ˈjuːz/ [verb phrase] spoken informal

say that you could do with something or could use something when you feel that you need it and that it would improve things for you :

▪ ‘Let’s stop for a minute.’ ‘Sure, I could do with a rest.’

▪ I could use a hand with this if you have a minute.

▪ Boy, I sure could use a drink.

▷ be in need of /biː ɪn ˈniːd ɒv/ [verb phrase]

if someone is in need of help, advice, money etc, they need it because they are in a difficult situation :

▪ Several people were in need of medical treatment.

badly in need of something

▪ The country is badly in need of foreign investment.

▷ there is a need for /ðeər ɪz ə ˈniːd fɔːʳ/ [verb phrase]

if there is a need for something, it is needed by a group of people because it is useful or necessary in order to make a situation better :

▪ There’s always a need for blood donors.

▪ There’s no need for you to know my full name. Reggie will do.

there is an urgent need for something

▪ There is an urgent need for a review of current immigration law.

there is a growing need for something

▪ There’s a growing need for computer programmers and IT people in many parts of Latin America.

2. to need someone or something very much

▷ be desperate for /biː ˈdesp ə rə̇t fɔːʳ/ [verb phrase]

to urgently need something and want it very much :

▪ Wendell was desperate for a girlfriend, yet crippled by his fear of rejection.

▪ A cordon of police struggled to keep back onlookers and relatives desperate for news.

▷ be crying out for /biː ˌkraɪ-ɪŋ ˈaʊt fɔːʳ/ [verb phrase]

if a group of people are crying out for something such as help, food, or medicine, they need it very urgently because they are facing great difficulties without it :

▪ The country is crying out for strong leadership.

▪ As we all know, Birmingham has been crying out for a venue for local bands for several years.

▷ can’t do without /ˌkɑːnt duː wɪðˈaʊtǁˌkænt-/ [verb phrase]

to be unable to do the things that you have to do without someone who usually helps you or without something that you usually use :

▪ I absolutely can’t do without my mobile phone.

▪ Patrick is an excellent assistant - I couldn’t do without him.

▷ depend on/rely on /dɪˈpend ɒn, rɪˈlaɪ ɒn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

if you depend on or rely on someone or something, you need them because they provide you with something that you need :

depend/rely on somebody/something

▪ He was growing to depend on her, he knew that.

▪ Not surprisingly, businesses that rely on government contracts are being hit badly by the spending cuts.

depend/rely on somebody to do something

▪ Elvin depended on her to dress him, feed him and do many other tasks.

▪ Many plants rely on birds to distribute their seeds.

depend/rely on somebody for something

▪ Having to depend on her father for financial support was just not worth it, Sylvia decided.

depend/rely heavily on/upon

depend/rely a lot on

▪ State and local governments rely heavily on sales and property taxes.

dependence [uncountable noun]

▪ Clearly, the US must reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

▪ He is undergoing treatment for drug dependence.

▷ be dependent on/be reliant on /biː dɪˈpendənt ɒn, biː rɪˈlaɪənt ɒn/ [verb phrase]

if you are dependent on or are reliant on someone or something, you need them so much that you cannot exist or continue successfully without them, because they provide you with all the most important things you need :

▪ In those days, he was very dependent on Connie and wouldn’t do anything without first consulting her.

be dependent/reliant on somebody/something for something

▪ Many old people are dependent on government benefits for their basic survival.

be heavily dependent/reliant on

be very reliant on

▪ Small companies are heavily reliant on the goodwill of the banks in order to keep going.

3. necessary

▷ necessary /ˈnesɪs ə ri, ˈnesəs ə riǁ-seri/ [adjective]

if something is necessary, you need to have it or do it :

▪ He produced the necessary documents and handed them to her.

necessary for

▪ Fats in our diet are necessary for both heat and energy.

if necessary

if it is necessary

▪ If necessary, we will have to employ some outside people to finish the job.

it is necessary (for somebody) to do something


▪ It will be necessary to close the pool while the repairs take place.

▪ The doctor says it may be necessary for me to have an operation.

▷ essential /ɪˈsenʃ ə l/ [adjective]

if something is essential, you need it because you cannot be successful, healthy, safe etc without it :

▪ If you’re going hiking in the mountains, a decent pair of boots is essential.

▪ The tourist industry is now acknowledged as an essential part of the Spanish economy.

essential for

▪ Calcium is essential for the development of healthy teeth and bones.

it is essential to do something

▪ It is essential to read any document carefully before you sign it.

it is essential that

▪ It is essential that the oil is checked every 10,000 km.

▷ vital /ˈvaɪtl/ [adjective]

if something is vital, it is extremely important and you will have serious problems if you do not have it or do it :

▪ In this job, the ability to remain calm is vital.

▪ The European Space Agency said that a vital piece of equipment on the craft had stopped functioning.

vital for

▪ Regular exercise is vital for your health.

it is vital that

▪ It is vital that you keep accurate tax records.

▷ indispensable /ˌɪndɪˈspensəb ə l/ [adjective]

someone or something that is indispensable is extremely useful and it is almost impossible to do something without them :

▪ If you’re planning on going sightseeing around the old city, a guide is indispensable.

indispensable to

▪ The book will be indispensable to anyone who wishes to learn more about the British Royal Family.

▷ be a necessity /biː ə nə̇ˈsesə̇ti/ [verb phrase]

if something is a necessity, you must have it for your job or for your life, and it is not something that you only have for pleasure :

▪ For most people, a good guidebook is a necessity when travelling.

▪ If you live in a place like London, a car alarm is an absolute necessity.

▷ be a must /biː ə ˈmʌst/ [verb phrase] informal

if you say that something such as a book, film, or type of clothes is a must, you mean that people must read, see, or wear it, because it is very fashionable, enjoyable, interesting etc - used especially in advertisements and magazines :

▪ If you’re interested in the early history of aviation, this book is a must.

be a must for somebody

▪ Ankle boots are a must for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest fashions this autumn.

▷ required also requisite formal /rɪˈkwaɪəʳd, ˈrekwə̇zə̇t/ [adjective only before noun]

necessary for a particular purpose, especially according to a law or rule :

▪ They failed to submit their plans in the required time limit.

▪ If the proposed piece of legislation fails to get the requisite two-thirds majority in Parliament, it cannot become law.

required for

▪ In my opinion, she does not have the qualifications required for the job.

▪ Research and writing have become requisite for career advancement in academia.

4. make it necessary to do something

▷ make it necessary /ˌmeɪk ɪt ˈnesə̇s ə riǁ-seri/ [verb phrase]

make it necessary to do something

▪ The heavy rain made it necessary to close several roads.

▪ By 1870, larger ships and cargoes made it necessary to create a new port at Avonmouth.

make it necessary for somebody to do something

▪ Recent violence has made it necessary for security forces to take drastic measures.

▷ necessitate /nɪˈsesəteɪt, nəˈsesəteɪt/ [transitive verb not in progressive] formal

to make it necessary for you to do something, especially something that is difficult or that you would prefer not to do :

▪ Sales have dropped dramatically, necessitating cuts in production and employment.

necessitate doing something

▪ The proposed festival would necessitate closing University Avenue between 14th and 24th Streets Northwest.

5. something that is needed

▷ need /niːd/ [singular noun]

if there is a need for something, that thing is needed :

need for

▪ Carlton acknowledged that there was a need for stricter safety regulations at some of the sites.

need to do something

▪ The need to improve teaching standards is recognized; however, it is not something that is going to happen overnight.

feel the need to do something

feel that you need to do something

▪ Don’t you ever feel the need to take a vacation?

▷ necessity /nɪˈsesəti, nəˈsesəti/ [countable noun]

something that you must have for your job or for your life, not something that you only have for pleasure :

▪ I would say that TV has become more a necessity than a luxury, wouldn’t you?

the bare necessities

the most important and necessary things such as clothes and food

▪ For several years, the family was forced to make do with just the bare necessities.

▷ requirement /rɪˈkwaɪəʳmənt/ [countable noun]

the amount or level of something that it is necessary to have, especially one that has been officially decided or is officially advised :

▪ The average daily food requirement for an adult is between 2000 and 3000 calories.

come up to/meet/satisfy a requirement

reach the necessary level or amount

▪ For the second year in a row, the city’s water supply has failed to meet minimum purity requirements.

6. when a job or activity needs a particular quality

▷ need /niːd/ [transitive verb not in progressive] British

if a job or activity needs a particular quality, you must have that quality in order to do it well :

▪ Teaching children to read needs a lot of patience and skill.

▪ It must have needed a great deal of self-discipline for you to lose so much weight in such a short time.

▪ What are the qualities that are needed for the job?

▷ take /teɪk/ [transitive verb not in progressive or passive]

if a job or activity takes a particular quality, or a lot of time, money, effort etc, you must have that quality or spend a lot of time etc in order to do it :

▪ Don’t get discouraged. Learning a new language takes a lot of effort.

it takes something to do something

▪ It took us about five months to sell our house.

▪ It takes strength and stamina to be a long-distance runner.

▷ require /rɪˈkwaɪəʳ/ [transitive verb not in progressive] formal

if a job or activity requires a particular quality, you have to have that quality in order to do it well :

▪ A lot of patience is required to look after a disabled child.

▪ As any couple will tell you, marriage requires commitment and sacrifice from both partners.

▷ call for /ˈkɔːl fɔːʳ/ [transitive phrasal verb not in progressive]

if doing something difficult calls for a particular quality or a particular type of behaviour, you must have that quality or behave in that way in order to succeed in doing it :

▪ The Times crossword calls for a certain amount of literary knowledge.

▪ Launching a new product is a highly complicated business, and careful planning is called for.

7. to provide something that is needed or wanted

▷ meet/satisfy a need /ˌmiːt, ˌsætə̇sfaɪ ə ˈniːd/ [verb phrase]

if someone or something meets or satisfies a need, they give people what they need or want :

▪ Public transportation here has failed to meet the community’s needs.

meet/satisfy a need of

▪ It’s extremely difficult for one teacher to meet the needs of 16 students in a class when each is working at a different level.

satisfy a basic human need

▪ Belief in God or a supreme being seems to satisfy some basic human need.

▷ meet requirements also fulfil requirements British /fulfill requirements American /ˌmiːt rɪˈkwaɪəʳmənts, fʊlˌfɪl rɪˈkwaɪəʳmənts/ [verb phrase]

if someone or something meets or fulfils the requirements that have been set for them, they reach the standards that are necessary, especially standards that have been officially decided :

▪ Beginning in April, street vendors will be required to meet a tough new set of requirements.

meet requirements for

▪ The group has been notified by school officials that it no longer meets the requirements for a voluntary student organization.

▷ meet demand /ˌmiːt ðə dɪˈmɑːndǁ-ˈmænd/ [verb phrase]

to provide enough quantities of a product so that everyone who wants one can have one :

▪ Record stores are finding it difficult to meet the demand for the group’s latest CD, Greasy Pole.

meet demand for

▪ Ford announced that it has increased production to meet demand for its new range of sports utility vehicle.

▷ fill a need /ˌfɪl ə ˈniːd/ [verb phrase]

if something fills a need, for example a new product or service, it gives people something that they have wanted but which they have not been able to have until now :

fill a need for

▪ The restaurant fills a need for good healthful food and for a good place to meet.

▪ This handsome book fills a need for a clear children’s guide to the African-American tradition of Kwanzaa.

8. when you do not need something

▷ don’t need /ˌdəʊnt ˈniːd/ [verb phrase]

to not need something or someone :

▪ Do you want these text books? I don’t need them any more.

▪ Listen, people with disabilities do not need or want your pity.

▪ According to Mahoney, the company did not need the cash, but was selling the division in an effort to streamline its operations.

▷ spare /speəʳ/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this about something which you do not need now, but which is available so that you can use it later or let someone else use it :

▪ We have two spare tickets for the game - do you want to come?

▪ Some couples will start married life in a spare room at the home of one set of parents -- usually the bride’s.

spare change

▪ It seemed like every time I turned around, some bum was hitting me up for spare change.

▷ can do without also can manage without /kən ˌduː wɪðˈaʊt, kən ˌmænɪdʒ wɪðˈaʊt/ [verb phrase]

to not need someone or something, because you can live normally or do what you need to do without them :

▪ We should be able to manage without you for a few days.

▪ ‘I can do without alcohol, but I can’t do without the cigs,’ O'Hare wheezed.

▷ have no use for /ˌhæv nəʊ ˈjuːs fɔː/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

to not need someone or something because you no longer use them or cannot think of a way of using them :

▪ The fish spend their lives in darkness, and, having no use for eyes, are totally blind.

▪ If society has no use for old people, is it any wonder that older people feel that their lives are without meaning?

▷ have no need of /ˌhæv nəʊ ˈniːd ɒv/ [verb phrase not in progressive] formal

to not need something :

▪ Japan has its own space program and has no need of American technology.

▷ can dispense with /kən dɪˈspens wɪð/ [verb phrase] formal

to not need to use or do something that you usually use or do, because it is no longer necessary :

▪ The company decided that it could dispense with the middle management level altogether.

dispense with the formalities

to not use formal or very polite behaviour, such as introducing people to each other

▪ We all know each other here, so I think we can dispense with the formalities.

9. not necessary

▷ unnecessary/not necessary /ʌnˈnesəs ə riǁ-seri, nɒt ˈnesəs ə riǁ-seri/ [adjective]

if something is unnecessary or not necessary, you do not need to have it or do it :

▪ Don’t fill your report with unnecessary information.

▪ A lot of the expenses that he’s claiming seem totally unnecessary.

it is unnecessary/not necessary to do something

▪ It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on clothes to look good.

unnecessarily [adverb]

▪ I think you’re worrying unnecessarily. Just relax.

▷ hardly necessary /ˌhɑːʳdli ˈnesə̇s ə riǁ-seri/ [adjective phrase] British

not necessary at all - use this when you are surprised that someone thinks something is necessary :

▪ They asked to see my passport, my driver’s license, and my bank card, which was hardly necessary.

▪ At first glance, it seems hardly necessary to make another film about Van Gogh.

▷ needless /ˈniːdləs/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this to describe bad things that are unnecessary because they could easily have been prevented or avoided :

▪ ‘I am very saddened by this needless loss of life,’ the President said at a news conference Tuesday.

▪ He accused the local council of allowing a needless tragedy, through a policy of not fitting smoke detectors to council houses.

needlessly [adverb]

▪ Each week, over 250,000 children die needlessly from starvation and disease.

▷ gratuitous /grəˈtjuːɪtəs, grəˈtjuːətəsǁ-ˈtuː-/ [adjective usually before noun]

done for no reason, and seeming shocking or offensive :

gratuitous violence/insults/cruelty etc

▪ The network refused to televise the film because it contained too much gratuitous violence.

▪ It was a completely gratuitous insult -- I hadn’t said anything to offend her.

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