Meaning of necessary in English:


Pronunciation /ˈnɛsəs(ə)ri/

See synonyms for necessary

Translate necessary into Spanish


  • 1Needed to be done, achieved, or present; essential.

    ‘they granted the necessary planning permission’
    • ‘it's not necessary for you to be here’
    • ‘We had always stayed out of each others private business, prying only when we deemed it absolutely necessary.’
    • ‘A jury of experts reviewed a draft of the survey and made changes where necessary.’
    • ‘Often it's impossible for the architect of a company to make the changes necessary to ensure it survives.’
    • ‘Remedies are then prescribed where necessary in order to balance the energy to produce a positive effect.’
    • ‘Ask yourself what could possibly go wrong and then take preventive actions where necessary.’
    • ‘Many developing countries may lack the resources necessary to prevent such outbreaks.’
    • ‘The question then is, what steps are reasonably necessary to the attainment of that purpose?’
    • ‘Now, they feel it necessary to protect themselves'.’
    • ‘The interference must go no further than is strictly necessary to achieve its permitted purpose.’
    • ‘I imagine that the Minister and her officials would take whatever steps they deemed necessary to deal with the demand.’
    • ‘I do not find it necessary to consider these definitions for present purposes.’
    • ‘After considering these two requirements, the court may still find it necessary to consider a third factor.’
    • ‘Eva takes the boy in but does not give him the skills necessary for his survival.’
    • ‘My policy is to ignore readers who feel it necessary to resort to insults.’
    • ‘Killing wasn't fun or heroic; it was simply sometimes necessary for survival.’
    • ‘Procedural safeguards are also necessary to ensure that the powers are used properly.’
    • ‘We do not think it necessary to consider this issue at length.’
    • ‘I didn't tell you because it didn't seem necessary at the time.’
    • ‘But hunting with dogs is not natural or necessary in our society today.’
    • ‘The minister's approval was necessary for the purpose of control and accountability.’
    • ‘Because the dealer may not follow through on completing and filing the necessary paperwork.’
    • ‘Please could you send me the necessary paperwork required to begin this procedure.’
    • ‘A social worker will be able to help fill out all of the necessary paperwork.’
    obligatory, requisite, required, compulsory, mandatory, imperative, demanded, needed, called for, needful
    View synonyms
  • 2Determined, existing, or happening by natural laws or predestination; inevitable.

    ‘a necessary consequence’
    • ‘As much as I'd like to think that spying doesn't happen, it's going to happen as a necessary consequence of competition.’
    • ‘The magazine, he says, is ‘a necessary consequence of their superstar status’.’
    • ‘He saw radical skepticism as a necessary consequence of the misery of the human condition.’
    • ‘I suppose that if we allow non-resident citizens to vote, this is a necessary consequence.’
    • ‘Other disciplines and artistic representation are an inevitable and necessary part of the mix.’
    • ‘If the answer is still yes, you must accept all the necessary consequences.’
    • ‘It was an almost necessary consequence of using lenses.’
    • ‘Perhaps you may think that in this case the continuation of such stringent and draconian sanctions is a regrettable but necessary consequence.’
    • ‘The principal weakness is that there is no necessary consequence for the validity of a law which is successfully impugned.’
    • ‘The necessary consequence is that there had to be a redefinition of the rights and obligations of the parents, and of those with care of children.’
    • ‘The necessary consequence of this was political centralization.’
    • ‘A necessary consequence of this is that, where they are in conflict, statute law prevails over the common law.’
    • ‘It is not a necessary consequence, or a condition, of industrialization.’
    • ‘However, that was no more than the necessary consequence of the change in the legislation.’
    • ‘Some home truths about the migration of people need to be remembered and the necessary consequences drawn.’
    • ‘Changes in the direction and rate of relative plate motion are necessary consequences of the evolution of plate mosaics.’
    • ‘That delay was to a large extent a necessary consequence of the splitting of the allegations into separate trials.’
    • ‘So urgency cannot be construed as a strictly necessary condition for the status of an impulse or desire as addictive.’
    • ‘But maintaining the separation of church and state is a necessary precondition of liberty.’
    • ‘But biodiversity is a necessary precondition for the long-term maintenance of biological resources.’
    • ‘How can one responsibly teach writers who use the reader's revulsion and horror as necessary responses?’
    inevitable, unavoidable, certain, sure, inescapable, inexorable, ineluctable, fated, destined, predetermined, predestined, preordained
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Philosophy (of a concept, statement, etc.) inevitably resulting from the nature of things, so that the contrary is impossible.
      ‘Bacon and Locke had discussed the question of a necessary knowledge of nature from a scholastic standpoint.’
      • ‘If it is shown that the opinion actually formed is not an opinion of this character, then the necessary opinion does not exist.’
      • ‘There could be no solution, they claimed, until the mind first grasped the necessary idea.’
      • ‘We ought not to be surprised when Hamlet refers to some necessary question of the play.’
      • ‘The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it.’
    2. 2.2Philosophy (of an agent) having no independent volition.
      • ‘The sixth is that if a man were not a necessary agent he would be ignorant of morality and have no motive to practice it.’


usually necessaries
  • 1The basic requirements of life, such as food and warmth.

    ‘not merely luxuries, but also the common necessaries’
    • ‘poor people complaining for want of the necessaries of life’
    • ‘Shelter, medicine, basic schooling, and even necessaries like food and water were now being provided to the million upon million of starving adults, and their children.’
    • ‘Others resort to exploitation, as in the case of an injured officer who, with the help of a resentful assistant, attempts to trade tobacco leaves with the retreating soldiers in exchange for food and other necessaries.’
    • ‘Work was about to be resumed at the Emergency Kitchen for the relief of the sick poor of York, which was for the immediate relief of all poor persons who were ill, and too poor to afford the pressing necessaries their sufferings required.’
    • ‘Two or three trips out for provisions and necessaries for the immediate works have given us our first close-hand contact with the beautiful landscape.’
    • ‘Lots of worthwhile things got done today, domestic things, keeping the small ship of our household trim and balanced, clean and supplied with the necessaries.’
    • ‘To their credit, Pollack and his scriptwriters have tried to tackle all the necessaries of a proper old style political thriller head on.’
    • ‘And a big plus is that it's not too trendy to supply the necessaries for making coffee and tea.’
    • ‘He could supply drovers with all necessaries, including the best brands of liquors and fresh water.’
    • ‘This was the principal site for retailing victuals and other necessaries.’
    • ‘Bread, margarine, orange juice, jam, fruit and veg, cereals, milk, meat, biscuits and some other necessaries such as kitchen towels, toothpaste, beer and disposable nappies.’
    • ‘But back then florists seemed rather more in touch with the real world and would provide a few bunches of the cheapest blooms you could have for the small change left after shopping for necessaries.’
    • ‘There wasn't time for a full shop so I confined myself to the small list of necessaries I'd scribbled down.’
    • ‘I picked up enough consumables and necessaries to tide us over the next couple of days.’
    • ‘The ward nurse gave me a list of necessaries, beginning with soap and ending with a bedpan.’
    • ‘There was some space left over in my trolley when I'd bought the necessaries so I filled it up with Christmas booze.’
    • ‘I shall have to use a jar of pre-made sauce for that because I'm not geared up with necessaries for sauce making yet.’
    • ‘However, my CD drive is broken, and I specifically checked when I ordered that it would be possible to download the necessaries from the internet.’
    • ‘And if you look to the bottom of the bag, you'll find your necessaries.’
    • ‘After about another hour of going through information, records, and other such necessaries, we finally were ready to leave, or so I thought.’
    • ‘She had spent an hour or so showing the captain the necessaries in caring for his mother, and had promised to stop by the following afternoon, just to check on things.’
    • ‘Taxes on luxuries have some advantage over taxes on necessaries.’
    • ‘At the time of writing his Wealth of Nations, Smith noted that only four necessaries were subject to tax in Great Britain, specifically salt, leather, soap and candles.’
    1. 1.1the necessary informal The action or item needed.
      • ‘see when they need a tactful word of advice and do the necessary’
      • ‘Unable to get the human variety, the club has hired a team of four llamas to do the necessary.’
      • ‘Of course, if she's busy reading or otherwise occupied, she sends the sprog in her place to do the necessary.’
      • ‘Unafraid of blood and guts, I went with him to the top of the garden where he did the necessary.’
      • ‘As I empathised with the poor guy, I obliged him by doing the necessary.’
      • ‘I don't know if you all realize how much I hate being ill, anyhow, I am doing the necessary.’
    2. 1.2the necessaryBritish informal The money needed.
      • ‘a bag containing my wallet: the money, the necessary’
      • ‘Paul, a successful model with ambitions to run his own place, came up with the necessary.’


    a necessary evil
    • Something that is undesirable but must be accepted.

      ‘for many, paying taxes is at best a necessary evil’
      • ‘In fact they enter the course regarding cryptography as a necessary evil that must be endured in order for them to obtain an Information Security qualification.’
      • ‘If this was making inroads into the problem then many Americans would reluctantly accept this as a necessary evil.’
      • ‘But if lights are occasionally necessary, they are a necessary evil.’
      • ‘The department of sericulture, on the other hand, had accepted the problem of children working in silk factories as a necessary evil.’
      • ‘We seem to accept death on the road as a necessary evil.’
      • ‘Many investors say they care less for animal than human lives, taking the view that animal testing is a necessary evil if medical developments are to progress.’
      • ‘But we are prepared to tolerate these noises as being a necessary evil.’
      • ‘So capitalism is indeed a necessary evil, and has been around ever since the beginning of human nature?’
      • ‘Forest fires are a necessary evil, argue scientists and government officials.’
      • ‘I tried hating school, but I decided long ago that education was a necessary evil.’
      • ‘We see some of these salaries as a necessary evil in order to attract good people to run our establishments!’
      • ‘They do not enhance the appearance of the district in which they are situated but are coming to be regarded as a necessary evil.’
      • ‘They are seen as a necessary evil to promote stability and foreign investment in the region.’
      • ‘Despite this, the daily commute is considered by most to be a necessary evil to be tolerated in order to call a place your own.’
      • ‘I can think of 1,000 things I would rather do with my time, but it's a necessary evil.’
      • ‘They seem to see sprawl as a problem to be eliminated, not a necessary evil to be mitigated.’
      • ‘So in that sense, I agree that litigation can be a necessary evil.’
      • ‘State and local officials have come to view tax breaks and ‘incentives’ as a necessary evil.’
      • ‘To others, myself included, cleaning a dirty weapon is a necessary evil.’
      • ‘Animal testing is a necessary evil which will exist for many years to come.’
      • ‘Speed cameras - a necessary evil or just a way of bringing money in?’


Late Middle English from Latin necessarius, from necesse ‘be needful’.