see also: Necessary
  • (America) IPA: /ˈnɛsəˌsɛɹi/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈnɛsəsɹɪ/
  • (nonstandard) IPA: /ˈnɛsəɹi/


  1. Required, essential, whether logically inescapable or needed in order to achieve a desired result or avoid some penalty.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:requisite
    Antonyms: unnecessary
    Although I wished to think that all was false, it was yet necessary that I, who thus thought, must in some sense exist.
    It is absolutely necessary that you call and confirm your appointment.
  2. Unavoidable, inevitable.
    Synonyms: inevitable, natural
    Antonyms: evitable, incidental, impossible
    If it is absolutely necessary to use public computers, you should plan ahead and forward your e-mail to a temporary, disposable account.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar, Act II, Scene ii, ll. 1020-25 ↗:
      Cæs. Cowards dye many times before their deaths,
      The valiant neuer taste of death but once:
      Of all the Wonders that I yet haue heard,
      It seemes to me most strange that men should feare,
      Seeing that death, a necessary end
      Will come, when it will come.
  3. (obsolete) Determined, involuntary: acting from compulsion rather than free will.
    • 1871, Richard Holt Hutton, Essays, Vol. I, p. 53:
      But that a necessary being should give birth to a being with any amount, however limited, of moral freedom, is infinitely less conceivable than that parents of the insect or fish type should give birth to a perfect mammal.
Translations Translations Noun

necessary (plural necessaries)

  1. (UK, archaic euphemism, usually with the definite article) A place to do the "necessary" business of urination and defecation: an outhouse or lavatory.
Synonyms Related terms
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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