from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Needy; indigent.
  • adjective Compelling; urgent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pressed by poverty; unable to procure what is necessary for one's Station; needy.
  • To persons.
  • To circumstances.
  • Synonyms Needy, Necessitous (see needy), penniless, destitute, pinched, poor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Very needy or indigent; pressed with poverty.
  • adjective Narrow; destitute; pinching; pinched.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective archaic Needy, indigent, destitute, poor.
  • adjective archaic In need, lacking.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective poor enough to need help from others


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French nécessiteux, from Old French, necessary, from necessite, necessity; see necessity.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare necessity, -ous.


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  • The Lord Chancellor of England pointed out in 1762, "necessitous men are not free men."

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  • He said that necessitous men and women cannot be free.

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  • And sometimes it represents the ability of the trader to force necessitous men to cooperate in return for no more than subsistence pay.

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  • Those who are badly off have no recourse of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly rely upon the assistance of the State, and it is for this reason that wage-earners, who are undoubtedly among the weak and necessitous, should be especially cared for and protected by the commonwealth.

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  • The next morning after breakfast, Mrs Delvile set out upon some leave-taking visits, and Cecilia went in a chair to Fetter-lane: here, already waiting for her, she met the punctual Mr Monckton, and the disappointed Jew, who most unwillingly was paid off, and relinquished his bonds; and who found in the severe and crafty Mr Monckton, another sort of man to deal with than the necessitous and heedless Mr Harrel.


  • What time was left to him, after these thousand details of business, and his offices and his breviary, he bestowed first on the necessitous, the sick, and the afflicted; the time which was left to him from the afflicted, the sick, and the necessitous, he devoted to work.

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  • Prince raised his eyes heavenwards and cried, “O Thou who answerest the necessitous when he calleth upon Thee and dispellest his distress; O my God! grant me victory over my foe and turn him from me, for Thou over all things art Almighty.”

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  • The Standing Committee shall inquire into the circumstances of the family of the deceased, and if they are found necessitous, shall report them as such to the Society.

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  • Why, Mr. Wasburg had the precise specific up his sleeve-a Federal Reserve System which would hold reserves centrally and dispatch supplies of credit at once to any necessitous bank in the system that might call for them.

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