English Thesaurus

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819



  1. need, demand, requirement, exigency, indispensability, needfulness •  There is agreement on the necessity of reforms.
  2. essential, need, necessary, requirement, fundamental, requisite, prerequisite, sine qua non (Latin), desideratum, want, must-have •  Water is a basic necessity of life.
  3. inevitability, certainty, inexorability, ineluctability, shoo-in (US & & Canadian), inexorableness, unavoidability, unavoidableness •  the ultimate necessity of death
  4. poverty, need, privation, penury, destitution, extremity, indigence •  They were reduced to begging through economic necessity.
  5. essential, need, requirement, fundamental, exigency, indispensable •  They sometimes had to struggle to pay for necessities.
Necessity is the mother of invention
Jonathan Swift – Gulliver's Travels

Necessity never made a good bargain
Benjamin Franklin – Poor Richard's Almanack

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves
William Pitt – speech

You make a virtue of necessity
Saint Jerome – Apologeticum adversus Rufinum

Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessities
John Lothrop Motley
PROVERBS: Necessity knows no law Needs must when the devil drives

'necessity' in Other Languages

  • British English: necessity Necessity is the need to do something.Most people work from economic necessity.nɪˈsɛsɪtɪ NOUN
  • Arabic: ضَرُورَةٌ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: necessidade
  • Chinese: 必要性
  • Croatian: nužnost
  • Czech: nutnost
  • Danish: nødvendighed
  • Dutch: noodzaak
  • European Spanish: necesidadcosa
  • Finnish: välttämättömyys
  • French: nécessité
  • German: Notwendigkeit
  • Greek: αναγκαιότητα
  • Italian: necessità
  • Japanese: 必要性
  • Korean: 필요성
  • Norwegian: nødvendighet
  • Polish: potrzeba
  • Portuguese: necessidade
  • Romanian: necesitate necesități
  • Russian: необходимость
  • Spanish: necesidad
  • Swedish: nödvändighet
  • Thai: ความจำเป็น
  • Turkish: gereklilik
  • Ukrainian: необхідність
  • Vietnamese: sự cần thiết


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