1 verb
need1 S1 W1
1 [transitive not in progressive] to have to have something or someone, because you cannot do something without them, or because you cannot continue or cannot exist without them [= require]:
You don't really need a car.
Plants need light in order to survive.
The camcorder needs a new battery.
Are you sure that you have everything you need?
need something for something
I need glasses for reading.
need somebody to do something
I need you to help me with the cooking.
need something desperately/badly/urgently
More blood donors are urgently needed.
much needed/badly needed
a much needed boost to the local economy
2 [transitive not in progressive] to feel that you want something very much:
I need a drink.
If you need anything, just say.
need to do something
She needed to go out for a walk.

need to do something

used when saying that someone should do something or has to do something:
He needs to see a doctor straightaway.
I need to catch up on my office work.
You need to let me know by Monday if you want to take part.
4 [modal] British English used in negative sentences when saying that something is not necessary or not always true [↪ have to]
need not/needn't
You needn't stay long.
Going to the dentist need not necessarily be a painful experience.
need not have done something/need not do something
You needn't have spent all that money.
I needn't have worried.
need I/we etc do something British English old-fashioned:
Need we leave so soon?
somebody need never do something
Jim need never find out what I said.
5 [transitive] used when saying that something should have something done to it, or has to have something done to it
something needs doing
The house needed painting.
Does this shirt need ironing?
something needs to be checked/cleaned/done etc
The engine will need to be completely checked.
The pie doesn't need to be refrigerated.
need a (good) wash/clean/cut etc (=ought to be washed, cleaned etc)
His hair needs a wash.
6 [transitive] if a job needs a quality or skill, you must have that quality or skill in order to do it well :
The job needs a lot of patience.
Being a teacher needs a high level of motivation.

I need hardly say/tell/remind etc

British English used when you think people should already know what you are going to say:
I need hardly remind you that this information is confidential.

you need only do something/all you need do is ...

British English used when saying that you only have to do something in order to do something else :
We need only look at the building to see how much money it will take to repair.
All we need do is threaten them.

need I ask/need I say more/ need I go on etc?

British English used to say that it is not necessary to say more or ask about something, because the rest is clear:
She's lazy, slow, and stubborn. Need I say more?

that's all I need/that's just what I didn't need

spoken used when saying that you did not want something to happen, especially when it seems annoying:
'There's a customer for you on the phone.' 'That's all I need!'

need something like a hole in the head

informal used when saying that you definitely do not need something

who needs it/them?

a) used to say you are not interested in something:
Make-up, who needs it?
b) used to say that someone or something is actually very important to you:
Kids? Who needs them!

Verb patterns You can say that you need to do something I need to clean (NOT I need clean) the house. If someone else is going to do something for you, you can say that you need something done or need something doing I need my car fixed urgently. You need your head examining! When you are talking about the object that is going to have something done to it, you can say that it needs something doing or needs something to be done My hair needs cutting. That box needs to be moved (NOT needs moved).Negatives You can say that you don't need to do something or needn't do something I don't need to leave (NOT don't need leave) until 10. You needn't apologize (NOT needn't to apologize).!! need not means that it is not necessary to do something. Do not use it to mean must not (=are not allowed to) You needn't take any money. You mustn't take any sharp objects on the plane.!! needn't have means that it was not necessary for someone to do something that they in fact did. Do not use it to mean didn't need to or didn't have to (= something was not necessary) We needn't have ordered so much food. I didn't need OR didn't have to tell him who I was - he already knew.Noun patterns The most common noun patterns are a need for something and a need to do something her need for friendship a need to preserve the environment!! Say there is a need, not 'it is a need'. Say a need for, not 'a need of' There is a desperate need for cash. You can also use the expression be in need of something We are in need of funds (NOT We have a need of funds).

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