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Definition of "necessity" []

  • The condition or quality of being necessary. (noun)
  • Something necessary: The necessities of life include food, clothing, and shelter. (noun)
  • Something dictated by invariable physical laws. (noun)
  • The force exerted by circumstance. (noun)
  • The state or fact of being in need. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "necessity" in a sentence
  • "If the failure of mills and furnaces causes men to be thrown out of employment, the remedy is to be found, not in the revisal of the measures that have produced these effects, but in the exportation of the men themselves to distant climes, thus producing a necessity for the permanent use of ships instead of canal-boats, with diminished power to maintain trade, and every increase of this _necessity_ is regarded as an evidence of growing wealth and power."
  • "[Sidenote: Necessity creates an exception, and the Revolution a case of necessity, the utmost extent of the demand of the Commons.] "My Lords, the concessions" (the concessions of Sacheverell's counsel) "are these: That _necessity_ creates an _exception_ to the general rule of submission to the prince; that such exception is understood or implied in the laws that require such submission; and that _the case of the Revolution was a case of necessity."
  • "Now in the works of nature the good end and the final cause is still more dominant than in works of art such as these, nor is necessity a factor with the same significance in them all; though almost all writers, while they try to refer their origin to this cause, do so without distinguishing the various senses in which the term necessity is used."