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



    BrE BrE//niːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//niːd//
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  1. 1  [singular, uncountable] a situation when something is necessary or must be done to satisfy/meet/identify a need need (for something) There is an urgent need for qualified teachers. We will contact you again if the need arises. The house is in need of a thorough clean. need (for somebody/something) to do something There is no need for you to get up early tomorrow. I had no need to open the letter—I knew what it would say. There's no need to cry (= stop crying).
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] a strong feeling that you want somebody/something or must have something to fulfil an emotional need She felt the need to talk to someone. I'm in need of some fresh air. She had no more need of me. It’s difficult to express our needs and desires.
  3. 3  [countable, usually plural] the things that somebody requires in order to live in a comfortable way or achieve what they want financial needs a programme to suit your individual needs to meet children’s special educational needs
  4. 4  [uncountable] the state of not having enough food, money or support synonym hardship The charity aims to provide assistance to people in need. He helped me in my hour of need. see also needy
  5. Word OriginOld English nēodian (verb), nēod, nēd (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nood and German Not ‘danger’.Extra examples £10 a day was enough to cover all his needs. A need exists to bridge the gap between theory and practice in nursing. Early intervention frequently eliminates the need for surgery. Energy for cooking is a basic human need. He’s in constant need of treatment. I avoid the need to travel by plane. I felt the need to do something. I see no need to do anything hasty. I understand and support their need to make a living. Our staff will cater to your every need. Research is currently driven by the need to reduce pollution. Several governments have expressed the need for a cautious approach to the conflict. She stressed the need for cooperation with the authorities. The coaching is informal and tailored to individual needs. The government has denied the need for economic reform. The incident proved the need for a continuing military presence in the area. The room was sorely in need of a fresh coat of paint. The system can be switched to emergency power should the need arise. The war created a need for national unity. There is a great need for English language classes. There is a special need for well-trained teachers. There’s no need to worry. These children are in dire need. We have now met most of the humanitarian needs of the refugees. We try to balance the needs of all our customers. a campaign to help children in need a crying need for skilled workers a law reflecting a need for better social conditions a new union set up to address the needs of seasonal labourers a school for children with special educational needs material needs of food and drink our common need for self-preservation the human need to order existence the need for change First we will assess your financial needs. He helped me in my hour of need. I’m in need of some fresh air. It can be difficult to express our needs and desires. The charity aims to provide assistance to people in need. Your role will be to support children with special educational needs.Idioms
    a crying need (for something)
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    a great and urgent need for something There is a crying need for more funds.
    a friend in need (is a friend indeed)
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    (saying) a friend who gives you help when you need it (is a true friend)
    if necessary There's always food in the freezer if need be.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: need