necessary Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “necessary” in the English Dictionary

"necessary" in British English

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necessaryadjective

uk   us   /ˈnes.ə.ser.i/
B1 needed in ​order to ​achieve a ​particularresult: 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 ​ourtrip. 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?

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(Definition of necessary from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"necessary" in American English

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necessaryadjective

 us   /ˈnes·əˌser·i/
needed in ​order to ​achieve a ​particularresult: Don’t take any more ​luggage than is ​strictly necessary. He ​lacks the necessary ​skills for the ​job. If necessary, we can always ​change the ​date of ​ourtrip.necessary evil A necessary ​evil is something ​unpleasant that must be ​accepted in ​order to ​achieve a ​particularresult: Most ​Americansaccepttaxes as a necessary ​evil. Necessary can be used in ​negatives and ​questions to show that you ​disapprove of something and do not ​think it should be done: [+ to infinitive] Was it really necessary to say that?
(Definition of necessary from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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