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necessary Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun anything indispensable
    requirement; requisite; essential; necessity.
    • 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. adjective absolutely essential
  3. adjective satellite unavoidably determined by prior circumstances
    • the necessary consequences of one's actions

Nec"es*sa*ry adjective
L. necessarius, from necesse unavoidable, necessary; of uncertain origin: cf. F. nécessaire.
  1. Such as must be; impossible to be otherwise; not to be avoided; inevitable.
    Death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. Shak.
  2. Impossible to be otherwise, or to be dispensed with, without preventing the attainment of a desired result; indispensable; requiste; essential. "'T is necessary he should die." Shak.
    A certain kind of temper is necessary to the pleasure and quiet of our minds. Tillotson.
  3. Acting from necessity or compulsion; involuntary; -- opposed to free; as, whether man is a necessary or a free agent is a question much discussed.
Nec"es*sa*ry noun
plural Necessaries
  1. 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.
  2. A privy; a water-closet.
  3. pl. (Law) Such things, in respect to infants, lunatics, and married women, as are requisite for support suitable to station.

Webster 1913