need - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “need”

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need

verb  us   /nid/

need verb (MUST HAVE)

[T] to be necessary to have something, or to want something very much: To make pastry, you need flour, fat, and water. Do we need anything from the store? Will I be needed in the office tomorrow? I need you to advise me on what to wear. I need a rest. [T] infml If you say that you don’t need something, it can mean that you do not want it because it is causing you trouble: I don’t need all this arguing. [T] If you say that someone or something needs something, you can mean that the person or thing should have it or would benefit from having it: What you need is some hot soup to warm you up. My hair needs to be washed.

need verb (MUST DO)

(present tense needs or need) to have to take an action: [+ to infinitive] He needs to lose weight. [+ to infinitive] Before we make a decision, we need to consider our options. [+ to infinitive] I need to do some shopping on my way home. I don’t think we need ask him. Nothing need be done about this before next week. [+ to infinitive] As it turned out, I didn’t need to buy any extra material (= I did it, although I didn’t have to).

need

noun [U]  us   /nid/

need noun [U] (SOMETHING YOU MUST HAVE)

something that you must or should have, or the lack of this: There’s a growing need for low-cost housing. Need can be a reason: [+ to infinitive] I don’t think there’s any need to worry. Need is also a feeling or state of greatly wanting something: [+ to infinitive] a desperate need to be loved We have no need for your sympathy. Need is also the state of being necessary: Help yourself to supplies as the need arises. [+ to infinitive] There’s no need to buy any more food.in need People who are in need do not have enough money or need some type of help: The money will go to those who are most in need.in need of Someone who is in need of something must or should have it: They’re in need of help.
(Definition of need from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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