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[need] /nid/
a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation:
There is no need for you to go there.
a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary:
to fulfill the needs of the assignment.
urgent want, as of something requisite:
He has no need of your charity.
necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case:
There is no need to worry.
a situation or time of difficulty; exigency:
to help a friend in need; to be a friend in need.
a condition marked by the lack of something requisite:
the need for leadership.
destitution; extreme poverty:
The family's need is acute.
verb (used with object)
to have need of; require:
to need money.
verb (used without object)
to be under an obligation (used as an auxiliary, typically in an interrogative or in a negative statement, and followed by infinitive, in certain cases without to; in the 3d person singular the form is need, not needs):
He need not go.
to be in need or want.
to be necessary:
There needs no apology.
if need be, should the necessity arise:
If need be, I can type the letters myself.
before 900; (noun) Middle English nede, Old English nēd (WSaxon nīed), cognate with German Not, Old Norse nauth, Gothic nauths; (v.) Middle English neden, Old English nēodian, derivative of the noun
Related forms
needer, noun
unneeded, adjective
well-needed, adjective
2, 3. See lack. 3. requirement. 4. Need, necessity imply a want, a lack, or a demand, which must be filled. Need, a word of Old English origin, has connotations that make it strong in emotional appeal: the need to be appreciated. Necessity, a word of Latin origin, is more formal and impersonal or objective; though much stronger than need in expressing urgency or imperative demand, it is less effective in appealing to the emotions: Water is a necessity for living things. 5. emergency. 7. neediness, indigence, penury, privation. See poverty. 8. want, lack.
7. wealth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for needer


(transitive) to be in want of to need money
(transitive) to require or be required of necessity (to be or do something); be obliged to need to do more work
(takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary in negative and interrogative sentences to express necessity or obligation, and does not add -s when used with he, she, it, and singular nouns need he go?
(intransitive) (archaic) to be essential or necessary to there needs no reason for this
the fact or an instance of feeling the lack of something he has need of a new coat
a requirement the need for vengeance
necessity or obligation resulting from some situation no need to be frightened
distress or extremity a friend in need
extreme poverty or destitution; penury
See also needs
Word Origin
Old English nēad, nied; related to Old Frisian nēd, Old Saxon nōd, Old High German nōt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for needer
O.E. nied (W.Saxon), ned (Mercian) "necessity, compulsion, duty," originally "violence, force," from P.Gmc. *nauthis (cf. O.N. nauðr, O.Fris. ned, M.Du. nood, Ger. Not, Goth. nauþs "need"), probably cognate with O.Pruss. nautin "need," and perhaps with O.C.S. nazda, Rus. nuzda, Pol. nedza "misery, distress," from PIE *nau- "death, to be exhausted." The more common O.E. word for "need, necessity, want" was ðearf, but they were connected via a notion of "trouble, pain," and the two formed a compound, niedðearf "need, necessity, compulsion, thing needed." Nied also may have been infl. by O.E. neod "desire, longing," which was often spelled the same. Common in O.E. compounds, e.g. niedfaru "compulsory journey," a euphemism for "death;" niedhæmed "rape," the second element being an O.E. word meaning "sexual intercourse;" niedling "slave." Meaning "extreme poverty, destitution" is from c.1200. The verb is O.E. neodian "be necessary," from the noun. Phrase the needful "money" is attested from 1774. The adj. phrase need-to-know is attested from 1954.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with needer
In addition to the idiom beginning with need also see: cry for (crying need for).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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