Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “necessary”

See all translations

necessary

adjective uk   /ˈnes.ə.ser.i/ us  
B1 needed in order to achieve a particular result: He lacks the necessary skills for the job. I don't have much time so I won't be staying any longer than necessary. Just do what's necessary and then leave. If necessary, we can always change the dates of our trip. Is it necessary for all of us to be present at the meeting this afternoon? We don't want to take any more luggage with us than is strictly necessary. used in negatives and questions to show that you disapprove of something and do not think it should be used or done: I don't think that kind of language is necessary in a show that kids could be watching. Was it really necessary for you to say that?
More examples
(Definition of necessary from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of necessary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “necessary”

Definitions of “necessary” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More