n. pl. ne·ces·si·tiesIdiom:
a. The condition or quality of being necessary.
b. Something necessary: The necessities of life include food, clothing, and shelter.
a. Something dictated by invariable physical laws.
b. The force exerted by circumstance.
3. The state or fact of being in need.
4. Pressing or urgent need, especially that arising from poverty.
As an inevitable consequence; necessarily.
[Middle English necessite, from Old French, from Latin necessitās, from necesse, necessary; see NECESSARY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.