American English

Definition of needy adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (needier, neediest)
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  1. 1(of people) not having enough money, food, clothes, etc. Thesauruspoordisadvantaged needy low-income impoverished deprived penniless hard upThese words all describe someone who has very little or no money and therefore cannot satisfy their basic needs.poor having very little money; not having enough money for basic needs:They were too poor to buy shoes for the kids.disadvantaged having less money and fewer opportunities than most people in society:economically disadvantaged areas of the cityneedy poor:It's a charity that provides assistance to needy children.low-income having less money to live on than most people in society:Our agency helps low-income families pay their heating bills.impoverished (journalism) poor:Thousands of impoverished families in rural areas are desperate to move to the cities.deprived [usually before noun] without enough food, education, and all the things that are necessary for people to live a happy and comfortable lifewhich word?Poor is the most general of these words and can be used to describe yourself, another individual person, people as a group, or a country or an area. Needy is mostly used to describe people considered as a group. It is not used to talk about yourself or individual people:poor/needy/low-income children/families They were too needy to buy shoes for the kids.Low-income is a polite way to describe people who are poor. Impoverished is used, especially in journalism, to talk about poor countries and the people who live there. To talk about poor areas in rich countries, use deprived.penniless (literary) having no money; very poor:He died penniless in Paris.hard up (informal) having very little money, especially for a short period of time:I was always hard up as a student.Patterns poor/disadvantaged/needy/low-income/impoverished/deprived/penniless/hard-up people/families poor/disadvantaged/needy/low-income/impoverished/deprived areas poor/disadvantaged/low-income/impoverished countries a(n) poor/disadvantaged/impoverished/deprived background
  2. 2the needy noun [plural] people who do not have enough money, food, etc. help for the homeless and the needy
  3. 3(of people) not confident, and needing a lot of love and emotional support from other people She is shy and needy.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: needy

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