What does necessary mean?

Definitions for necessary
ˈnɛs əˌsɛr inec·es·sa·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word necessary.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. necessity, essential, requirement, requisite, necessaryadjective

    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"

  2. necessaryadjective

    absolutely essential

  3. necessaryadjective

    unavoidably determined by prior circumstances

    "the necessary consequences of one's actions"


  1. necessarynoun

    bathroom, toilet, loo

  2. necessaryadjective

    needed, required

  3. Etymology: From necessarye, from necessaire, from necessarius, from necesse, neuter adjective with esse and habeo, probably originating from ne cessum or non cessum, from ne + cessus, perfect passive participle of cedo; see cede.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. NECESSARYadjective

    Etymology: necessarius, Latin.

    All greatness is in virtue understood;
    ’Tis only necessary to be good. John Dryden, Aureng.

    A certain kind of temper is necessary to the pleasure and quiet of our minds, consequently to our happiness; and that is holiness and goodness. John Tillotson.

    The Dutch would go on to challenge the military government and the revenues, and reckon them among what shall be thought necessary for their barrier. Jonathan Swift, Miscel.

    No man can shew by any necessary argument, that it is naturally impossible that all the relations concerning America should be false. John Tillotson, Preface.



    A need is dissatisfaction at a point of time and in a given context. Needs are distinguished from wants. In the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. air, water, food, land, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as air, water, food and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialise or belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychical and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. The concept of "unmet need" arises in relation to needs in a social context which are not being fulfilled.Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, and form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, biology, psychology, social science, economics, marketing and politics.


  1. necessary

    Necessary is something that is required or essential in order to achieve a certain outcome or fulfill a certain purpose. It implies that without it, the intended goal cannot be accomplished or the desired result cannot be obtained.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Necessaryadjective

    such as must be; impossible to be otherwise; not to be avoided; inevitable

  2. Necessaryadjective

    impossible to be otherwise, or to be dispensed with, without preventing the attainment of a desired result; indispensable; requiste; essential

  3. Necessaryadjective

    acting from necessity or compulsion; involuntary; -- opposed to free; as, whether man is a necessary or a free agent is a question much discussed

  4. Necessarynoun

    a thing that is necessary or indispensable to some purpose; something that one can not do without; a requisite; an essential; -- used chiefly in the plural; as, the necessaries of life

  5. Necessarynoun

    a privy; a water-closet

  6. Necessarynoun

    such things, in respect to infants, lunatics, and married women, as are requisite for support suitable to station

  7. Etymology: [L. necessarius, from necesse unavoidable, necessary; of uncertain origin: cf. F. ncessaire.]


  1. Necessary

    "Necessary" is a song by Japanese j-pop group Every Little Thing, released as their tenth single on September 30, 1998.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Necessary

    nes′es-sar-i, adj. that must be: that cannot be otherwise: unavoidable: indispensable: under compulsion: not free.—n. that which cannot be left out or done without (food, &c.)—used chiefly in pl.: a privy.—ns. Necessā′rian, one who holds the doctrine of necessity; Necessā′rianism, the doctrine that the will is not free, but subject to causes without, which determine its action.—adv. Nec′essarily.—n. Nec′essariness, the state or quality of being necessary.—Necessary truths, such as cannot but be true. [Fr.,—L. necessarius.]

Editors Contribution

  1. necessary

    A just and right requirement.

    It is necessary to comply with the government guidelines to ensure we all continue to the moment we have optimum health on planet earth with our collective agreement that it is the priority.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 28, 2020  

  2. necessarynoun

    New elements born by the image of women in which a man was originally known in the common era from a period of common sense, apparently based on a misinterpretation of the number of relevant names. 1.) Required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential. 2.) Determined, existing, or happening by natural laws or predestination; inevitable. Small items required for a particular journey or purpose.

    A person, place, or thing is necessary to know in the investigation of the truth.

    Etymology: knowledge at hand

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on March 23, 2024  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Necessary is ranked #24554 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Necessary surname appeared 1,018 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Necessary.

    96.9% or 987 total occurrences were White.
    1.1% or 12 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.5% or 6 total occurrences were Black.
    0.5% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'necessary' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #503

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'necessary' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1047

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'necessary' in Adjectives Frequency: #59

How to pronounce necessary?

How to say necessary in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of necessary in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of necessary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of necessary in a Sentence

  1. Oakbank Balhannah:

    They know the arrangements, the procedures, and we will work through to make sure that risk is appropriately addressed and, where necessary, we wont allow them to go ahead.

  2. Graham Rye:

    They became travelogues, especially 'Moonraker' which was all over the place from France, to Italy, Argentina and Brazil. It just became a country hopping event, it's not necessary to the story but these exotic travels will have an affect on people. Bond fans travel to destinations just because Bond has been there.

  3. Og Mandino:

    Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider yourself defeated again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life's blueprint. Smile!

  4. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

    The West clearly has lost self-control in venting anger against Russia and has destroyed its own rules and institutions, including respect for private property, it’s necessary to put an end to the arrogant Western philosophy of self-superiority, exclusivity and total permissiveness.

  5. Elon Musk:

    In almost any motor transport — whether it's a plane or car, a horse, or bicycle — it's reusable, if you could use a car only once, very few people could afford to drive a car. So the critical breakthrough that's necessary is a rapidly reusable orbital rocket.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for necessary

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for necessary »


Find a translation for the necessary definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"necessary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/necessary>.

Discuss these necessary definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for necessary? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a small restaurant serving beer and wine as well as food; usually cheap
    A brasserie
    B serendipity
    C reciprocal
    D scholastic

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for necessary: