• WordNet 3.6
    • n necessity anything indispensable "food and shelter are necessities of life","the essentials of the good life","allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions","a place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained"
    • n necessity the condition of being essential or indispensable
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: During the Renaissance blond hair became so much de rigueur in Venice that a brunette was not to be seen except among the working classes. Venetian women spent hours dyeing and burnishing their hair until they achieved the harsh metallic glitter that was considered a necessity.
    • Necessity That which is necessary; a necessary; a requisite; something indispensable; -- often in the plural. "These should be hours for necessities ,
      Not for delights."
      "What was once to me
      Mere matter of the fancy, now has grown
      The vast necessity of heart and life."
    • Necessity That which makes an act or an event unavoidable; irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical or moral; fate; fatality. "So spake the fiend, and with necessity ,
      The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds."
    • Necessity The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing need; indigence; want. "Urge the necessity and state of times.""The extreme poverty and necessity his majesty was in."
    • Necessity (Metaph) The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism.
    • Necessity The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite; inevitableness; indispensableness.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n necessity The condition or quality of being necessary or needful; the mode of being or of truth of that which is necessary; the impossibility of the contrary; the absolute character of a determination or limitation which is not merely without exception, but which would be so in any possible state of things; absolute constraint.
    • n necessity As applied to the human will, the opposite of liberty. Compulsion physical or, more generally, moral; a stress upon the mind causing a person to do something unwillingly or with extreme reluctance: as, to make a virtue of necessity.
    • n necessity In philosophy, the inevitable determination of the human will by a motive or other cause. This is only a special use of the word in the free-will dispute. In philosophy generally, by the necessity of a cognition is properly meant a cognized necessity, or universality in reference to possible states of things; although some writers use the word to denote a constraint upon the power of thought.
    • n necessity A condition requisite for the attainment of any purpose; also, a necessary of life, without which life, or at least the life appropriate to one's station, would be impossible.
    • n necessity Want of the means of living; lack of the means to live as becomes one's station or is one's habit.
    • n necessity Extreme need, in general.
    • n necessity Business; something needful to be done.
    • n necessity Bad illicit spirit.
    • n necessity Synonyms Necessity, Need. Necessity is more urgent than need: a merchant may have need of more money in order to the most successful managing of his business; he may have a necessity for more cash in hand to avoid going into bankruptcy.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Necessity ne-ses′i-ti state or quality of being necessary: that which is necessary or unavoidable: compulsion: great need: poverty
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Necessity does everything well.”
  • Thomas H. Huxley
    “Fact I know; and Law I know; but what is this Necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mind's throwing?”
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    “Necessity has the face of a dog.”
  • Karl Marx
    “Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.”
  • Sallust
    “Necessity makes even the timid brave.”
  • Publilius Syrus
    “Necessity knows no law except to conquer.”


Make a virtue out of necessity - If you make a virtue out of necessity, you make the best of a difficult or unsatisfactory situation.
Necessity is the mother of invention - Difficult situations make people inventive.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. necessite, F. nécessité, L. necessitas, fr. necesse,. See Necessary
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. necessitas.


In literature:

Nor is this all; the employments of our sex lead us of necessity away from the fireside.
"The Young Maiden" by A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
Hence the necessity of employing sound-signals in dense fogs.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
It is anticipating a necessity that may not arise.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
In my own country I had been accustomed to regard man as a vital necessity.
"Mizora: A Prophecy" by Mary E. Bradley
Its necessities are the necessities of reason.
"The Approach to Philosophy" by Ralph Barton Perry
"Mysteries of Bee-keeping Explained" by M. Quinby
For any officer with dependents, insurance is of course a necessity.
"The Armed Forces Officer" by U. S. Department of Defense
To be heard, they were under the necessity of shouting to one another, like passengers in an omnibus.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Such a man as Huskisson, representing great commercial interests, could not be blind to the necessity.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)" by Leslie Stephen
They were the quietest of children by nature and necessity.
"Emily Brontë" by A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

In poetry:

However great thy task may be,
Thy business, or necessity,
To neither of them all attend,
E'er thou hast made thy God thy friend.
"Advice To A Youth" by Rees Prichard
Born to walk alone,
Now suddenly distracted into this mazy side-track,
This awkward, harrowing pursuit,
This grim necessity from within.
"Tortoise Gallantry" by D H Lawrence
Then illness comes; and the crushing load
Of debts increasingly hopelessly owed,
And all sold up at the last;
And Honesty, urged by Necessity's goad,
As a Union-pauper at work on the road
Break stones — but not his fast.
"A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. X. Slop-Jobbing" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
We have been believers yielding substance for the world.
With our hands have we fed a people and out of our
strength have they wrung the necessities of a nation.
Our song has filled the twilight and our hope has
heralded the dawn.
"We Have Been Believers" by Margaret Walker
Within the House of Mammon there is no need of song,
And faced by them who doubt not, no doubt endures for long;
Tho twilight hold the temple, there yet each one shall see
The Word of Words, the letters that spell “Necessity.”
"The Common Cult" by George Sterling
Never be cheated—never may you be!—
Into the cramp belief that poesy
Must of necessity in soul be one
With the mere form of verse if it but deftly run;
Or pour, as with a mill-wheel’s vigorous cheer,
A rhyming clatter hard upon the ear.
"The Nevers of Poetry" by Charles Harpur

In news:

Hampden merchants debate necessity of having Santa Claus on The Avenue .
Theatre's Bare Necessities: The Naked Stage in a Black Box.
Pseudo 'Protesters' Bare Necessities at Congressman Boehner's Office.
But next month, those barges packing such necessities as coal, farm products and petroleum could instead be parked along the river's banks.
The barn will be used to house injured animals, supplies and other necessities.
Milwaukee Residents Shop For Deals To Give Needy Children Basic School Supplies And Necessities.
Theatre's Bare Necessities: The Naked Stage in a Black Box .
The economy makes it difficult to afford basic necessities in life, but does money play a factor when it comes to marriage and having children.
I guess I don't mind the government trying to help out failing banks, if if it is absolutely a necessity to save our economy.
The shop, which sells sundries and basic necessities, is named for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who starred in 26 silent cartoons produced by Disney in 1927 and 1928.
Holmes Has Become Focus by Design and by Necessity.
She received an overwhelming response to idea of bringing necessities to those in need.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this is no exception.
While Sales Rose, Retailers Note Consumers Continue to Focus on Necessities.
As state and local governments struggle to find money for necessities, the conventional wisdom is something has to give.

In science:

The necessity of the smoothing arises from the fact that the map (ψ2 , ϕ) 7→ hψ2 , ϕi is not continuous in the product of the topologies on which the large deviation principles are based.
Annealed deviations of random walk in random scenery
However, this procedure only works for uniformly bounded sceneries, and this explains the necessity of a cutting argument for the scenery.
Annealed deviations of random walk in random scenery
We begin with the necessity of the (VR) hypothesis in part (ii) of the Theorem.
Automorphisms and abstract commensurators of 2-dimensional Artin groups
It suffices to prove the necessity since Theorem 3.5 implies the sufficiency.
Generalization of Harish-Chandra's basic theorem for Riemannian symmetric spaces of non-compact type
Necessity and sufficiency follow from Eqns. (14) and (15) and the definition of the properties of a closed subnet.
Sampling properties of random graphs: the degree distribution