Need Need (n[=e]d), n. [OE. need, neod, nede, AS. ne['a]d, n[=y]d; akin to D. nood, G. not, noth, Icel. nau[eth]r, Sw. & Dan. n["o]d, Goth. nau[thorn]s.] 1. A state that requires supply or relief; pressing occasion for something; necessity; urgent want. [1913 Webster]

And the city had no need of the sun. --Rev. xxi. 23. [1913 Webster]

I have no need to beg. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Be governed by your needs, not by your fancy. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

2. Want of the means of subsistence; poverty; indigence; destitution. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Famine is in thy cheeks; Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is needful; anything necessary to be done; (pl.) necessary things; business. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

4. Situation of need; peril; danger. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Exigency; emergency; strait; extremity; necessity; distress; destitution; poverty; indigence; want; penury.

Usage: {Need}, {Necessity}. Necessity is stronger than need; it places us under positive compulsion. We are frequently under the necessity of going without that of which we stand very greatly in need. It is also with the corresponding adjectives; necessitous circumstances imply the direct pressure of suffering; needy circumstances, the want of aid or relief. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.