American English

Definition of need verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they need
    he / she / it needs
    past simple needed
    -ing form needing
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  1. 1to require something or someone 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. Thesaurusreasonexplanation grounds basis excuse motive justification pretextThese are all words for a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that someone has done.reason a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that someone has done; a fact that makes it right or fair to do something:She refused our request, but she 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 (somewhat formal) a good or true reason for saying, doing, or believing something:You have no grounds for your accusation.basis (somewhat formal) the reason why people make a particular choice:On what basis will this decision be made?excuse a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behavior; 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 drive instead of walking.motive a reason that explains someone's behavior:There seemed to be no motive for the murder.justification (somewhat 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 (somewhat 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) valid reason/explanation/grounds/excuse/motive/justification a good reason/explanation/basis/excuse/motive
  2. 2need 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.
  3. Idioms
    need (to have) your head examined (informal)
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    to be crazy
    need something like a hole in the head (informal)
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    to have no need or desire for something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: need