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

hyphen

the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More