Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: necessité, from Latin necessitas, from necesse; NECESSARY

necessity

noun
     
ne‧ces‧si‧ty plural necessities
1 [countable] something that you need to have in order to live [≠ luxury]:
She saw books as a necessity, not a luxury.
A car is an absolute necessity if you live in the country.
the basic/bare necessities
A lot of families cannot even afford to buy the basic necessities of life.
2 [uncountable] when something is necessary
necessity for
He emphasized the necessity for good planning and management.
the necessity of (doing) something
This illustrates the necessity of keeping accurate records of your work.
Many teachers are now questioning the necessity of formal exams.
through/out of necessity
He only remained with the group out of necessity.
I'm afraid it's become a matter of economic necessity.
3 [countable] something that must happen, even if it is unpleasant:
Taxes are a regrettable necessity.
4

of necessity

formal used when something happens in a particular way because that is the only possible way it can happen:
Many of the jobs are, of necessity, temporary.
5

necessity is the mother of invention

used to say that if someone really needs to do something, they will find a way of doing it

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