Necessity
Necessity Ne*ces"si*ty, n.; pl. {Necessities}. [OE. necessite, F. n['e]cessit['e], L. necessitas, fr. necesse. See {Necessary}.] 1. The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite; inevitableness; indispensableness. [1913 Webster]

2. The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing need; indigence; want. [1913 Webster]

Urge the necessity and state of times. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The extreme poverty and necessity his majesty was in. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is necessary; a necessary; a requisite; something indispensable; -- often in the plural. [1913 Webster]

These should be hours for necessities, Not for delights. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

What was once to me Mere matter of the fancy, now has grown The vast necessity of heart and life. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. That which makes an act or an event unavoidable; irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical or moral; fate; fatality. [1913 Webster]

So spake the fiend, and with necessity, The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. (Metaph.) The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism. [1913 Webster]

{Of necessity}, by necessary consequence; by compulsion, or irresistible power; perforce. [1913 Webster]

Syn: See {Need}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • Necessity — • A strict connection between different beings, or the different elements of a being, or between a being and its existence. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Necessity     Necessity …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • necessity — ne·ces·si·ty n pl ties 1 a: the presence or pressure of circumstances that justify or compel a certain course of action; esp: a need to respond or react to a dangerous situation by committing a criminal act b: an affirmative defense originating… …   Law dictionary

  • necessity — ► NOUN (pl. necessities) 1) the state or fact of being required or indispensable. 2) an indispensable thing. 3) a situation enforcing a particular course: created more by necessity than design. ● necessity is the mother of invention Cf.… …   English terms dictionary

  • necessity — (n.) late 14c., constraining power of circumstances, from O.Fr. necessité need, necessity; privation, poverty; distress, torment; obligation, duty (12c.), from L. necessitatem (nom. necessitas) compulsion, need for attention, unavoidableness,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • necessity — [nə ses′ətē] n. pl. necessities [ME necessite < OFr nécessité < L necessitas < necesse: see NECESSARY] 1. the power of natural law that cannot be other than it is; natural causation; physical compulsion placed on man by nature; fate 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • necessity — *need, exigency Analogous words: compelling or compulsion, constraining or constraint, obliging or obligation, coercing or coercion (see corresponding verbs at FORCE): indispensableness, requisiteness or requisition, needfulness (see… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • necessity — [n] need, essentiality call, cause, claim, compulsion, demand, desideratum, duress, essence, essential, exaction, exigency, fundamental, godsend*, imperative, indispensability, inevitability, inexorableness, life or death*, must, necessary,… …   New thesaurus

  • necessity — noun 1 fact that sth must happen; sth that cannot be avoided ADJECTIVE ▪ absolute, fundamental (esp. BrE), sheer, vital ▪ Sleep is an absolute necessity for life. ▪ dire, urgent …   Collocations dictionary

  • Necessity — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Necessity >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 involuntariness involuntariness Sgm: N 1 instinct instinct blind impulse Sgm: N 1 inborn proclivity inborn proclivity innate proclivity Sgm: N 1 native tendency native tendency… …   English dictionary for students

  • Necessity — This article is about the definition of necessity according to domestic law. For the concept of necessity in international law, see Military necessity. For logical meanings, see Necessary (disambiguation) and Modal logic …   Wikipedia

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