noun, plural necessities.
something necessary or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.
the fact of being necessary or indispensable; indispensability: the necessity of adequate housing.
an imperative requirement or need for something: the necessity for a quick decision.
the state or fact of being necessary or inevitable: to face the necessity of testifying in court.
an unavoidable need or compulsion to do something: not by choice but by necessity.
a state of being in financial need; poverty: a family in dire necessity.
Philosophy. the quality of following inevitably from logical, physical, or moral laws.
of necessity, as an inevitable result; unavoidably; necessarily: Our trip to China must of necessity be postponed for a while.

1325–75; Middle English necessite < Latin necessitās, equivalent to necess(e) needful + -itās -ity

nonnecessity, noun, plural nonnecessities.
supernecessity, noun, plural supernecessities.

3. demand. See need. 6. neediness, indigence, want. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
necessity (nɪˈsɛsɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  (sometimes plural) something needed for a desired result; prerequisite: necessities of life
2.  a condition or set of circumstances, such as physical laws or social rules, that inevitably requires a certain result: it is a matter of necessity to wear formal clothes when meeting the Queen
3.  the state or quality of being obligatory or unavoidable
4.  urgent requirement, as in an emergency or misfortune: in time of necessity we must all work together
5.  poverty or want
6.  rare compulsion through laws of nature; fate
7.  philosophy
 a.  a condition, principle, or conclusion that cannot be otherwise
 b.  Compare freedom the constraining force of physical determinants on all aspects of life
8.  logic
 a.  the property of being necessary
 b.  a statement asserting that some property is essential or statement is necessarily true
 c.  , Usual symbol: the operator that indicates that the expression it modifies is true in all possible worlds
9.  of necessity inevitably; necessarily

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from Fr. necessité (12c.), from L. necessitatem (nom. necessitas) "compulsion, need for attention," from necesse (see necessary). To maken vertu of necessite is in Chaucer.
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention." [Richard Franck, c.1624-1708, English author and angler, "Northern Memoirs," 1658]
Related: Necessities.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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