Necessity Ne*ces"si*ty, n.; pl. {Necessities}. [OE. necessite, F. n['e]cessit['e], L. necessitas, fr. necesse. See {Necessary}.] 1. The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite; inevitableness; indispensableness. [1913 Webster]

2. The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing need; indigence; want. [1913 Webster]

Urge the necessity and state of times. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The extreme poverty and necessity his majesty was in. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is necessary; a necessary; a requisite; something indispensable; -- often in the plural. [1913 Webster]

These should be hours for necessities, Not for delights. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

What was once to me Mere matter of the fancy, now has grown The vast necessity of heart and life. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. That which makes an act or an event unavoidable; irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical or moral; fate; fatality. [1913 Webster]

So spake the fiend, and with necessity, The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. (Metaph.) The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism. [1913 Webster]

{Of necessity}, by necessary consequence; by compulsion, or irresistible power; perforce. [1913 Webster]

Syn: See {Need}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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