Definition of need verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    need

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//niːd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//niːd//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they need
    BrE BrE//niːd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//niːd//
     
    he / she / it needs
    BrE BrE//niːdz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//niːdz//
     
    past simple needed
    BrE BrE//ˈniːdɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈniːdɪd//
     
    past participle needed
    BrE BrE//ˈniːdɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈniːdɪd//
     
    -ing form needing
    BrE BrE//ˈniːdɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈniːdɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to require something/somebody because they are essential or very important, not just because you would like to have them need something/somebody Do you need any help? It's here if you need it. Don't go—I might need you. They badly needed a change. Food aid is urgently needed. What do you need your own computer for? You can use ours. I don't need your comments, thank you. need to do something I need to get some sleep. He needs to win this game to stay in the match. You don't need to leave yet, do you? This shirt needs to be washed. need doing something This shirt needs washing. Synonymsreasonexplanation grounds basis excuse motive justification pretextThese are all words for a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done.reason a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done; a fact that makes it right or fair to do something:He said no but he didn’t give a reason.explanation a statement, fact or situation that tells you why something has happened; a reason given for something:The most likely explanation is that his plane was delayed. She left the room abruptly without explanation.grounds (rather formal) a good or true reason for saying, doing or believing something:You have no grounds for complaint.basis (rather formal) the reason why people take a particular action:On what basis will this decision be made?excuse a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behaviour; a good reason that you give for doing something that you want to do for other reasons:Late again! What’s your excuse this time? It gave me an excuse to take the car.motive a reason that explains somebody’s behaviour:There seemed to be no motive for the murder.justification (rather formal) a good reason why something exists or is done:I can see no possible justification for any further tax increases.grounds or justification?Justification is used to talk about finding or understanding reasons for actions, or trying to explain why it is a good idea to do something. It is often used with words like little, no, some, every, without, and not any. Grounds is used more for talking about reasons that already exist, or that have already been decided, for example by law: moral/​economic grounds.pretext (rather formal) a false reason that you give for doing something, usually something bad, in order to hide the real reason:He left the party early on the pretext of having to work.Patterns (a/​an) reason/​explanation/​grounds/​basis/​excuse/​motive/​justification/​pretext for something the reason/​motive behind something on the grounds/​basis/​pretext of/​that… (a) good/​valid reason/​explanation/​grounds/​excuse/​motive/​justification
  2. 2  need to do something used to show what you should or have to do All you need to do is complete this form. I didn't need to go to the bank after all—Mary lent me the money. Grammar Pointneed There are two separate verbs need. Need as a main verb has the question form do you need?, the negative you don’t need and the past forms needed, did you need? and didn’t need. It has two meanings: 1. to require something or to think that something is necessary:Do you need any help? I needed to get some sleep. 2. to have to or to be obliged to do something:Will we need to show our passports? Need as a modal verb has need for all forms of the present tense, need you? as the question form and need not (needn’t) as the negative. The past is need have, needn’t have. It is used to say that something is or is not necessary:Need I pay the whole amount now?
  3. Word Origin Old English nēodian (verb), nēod, nēd (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nood and German Not ‘danger’.Extra examples I just need some information. Research is urgently needed into the causes of this illness. She needed some money badly. These people may need 24-hour attention, but they do not necessarily need to be in hospital. You hardly need me to tell you that your father is still very frail and must not be upset. You may well need to look outside your preferred area to find affordable accommodation. Don’t go—I might need you. I don’t need your comments, thank you. It’s here if you need it. You don’t need to leave yet, do you?Idioms
    need (to have) your head examined
     
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    (informal) to be crazy See related entries: Describing strange traits
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: need