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need

need A need is something that is deemed necessary, especially something that is considered necessary for the survival of the person, organization, or whatever. The concept is widely used in the social sciences, with especial attention being placed on so-called human needs. Needs are commonly contrasted with wants (or desires), needs referring to things that are necessary, wants to those that are desired. Since the concept itself suggests that needs ought to be satisfied, it has frequently been invoked in the rhetoric of political and policy debates, notably in support of claims for action and intervention. It is central to discussions of poverty and deprivation and to welfare—a term referring to the meeting of human needs. Not surprisingly, however, the specification of needs is strongly contested. It is not too difficult to get agreement over a list of basic requirements for survival—such as the physiological and material needs for food, sleep, and shelter. However, determining necessary levels of these requirements is more difficult. Moreover, although academics and policy-makers may agree on a core of basic human needs, many would dispute whether this exhausts the set of basic human needs. Some would wish to include psychological and social needs, such as the need for love and care, for companionship, for the opportunity to learn, and so forth, as universal requirements. It has also been suggested that such needs can be viewed hierarchically. There is disagreement, too, over whether needs should be defined in absolute or relative terms, should be assessed objectively or subjectively, and indeed over the value of the concept itself.

Sociologists, especially those of a functional persuasion, have also used the concept of need in studying the functioning of societies. Talcott Parsons, for example, explicated the functional prerequisites of the social system—the things necessary for the survival of the society—such as adequate motivational support for the system itself. In a similar vein, Marxists talk of the needs of capitalism, mentioning most frequently the needs for production, reproduction, and legitimation. However, critics have pointed both to the difficulty of identifying the needs of society with any precision, and to the frequently tautological nature of the endeavour. See also NEEDS, HIERARCHY OF.

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need

need / nēd/ • v. [tr.] 1. require (something) because it is essential or very important: I need help now| this shirt needs washing | they need to win tomorrow. ∎  (not need something) not want to be subjected to something: I don't need your sarcasm. 2. expressing necessity or obligation: need I say more? I need not have worried. 3. [intr.] archaic be necessary: lest you, even more than needs, embitter our parting. • n. 1. circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity: the basic human need for food | there's no need to cry. 2. (often needs) a thing that is wanted or required: his day-to-day needs. 3. the state of lacking basic necessities such as food or money: a family whose need was particularly pressing. ∎  the state of requiring help or support: help us in our hour of need. PHRASES: at need archaic when needed; in an emergency: men whose experience could be called upon at need. had need archaic ought to: you had need hire men to chip it all over artistically. have need of formal need: Alida had need of company if need be if necessary. in need requiring help: children in need. in need of requiring or needing (something): he was in desperate need of medical care.

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need

need †force, constraint; necessity; lack, want; matter requiring action. OE. (non-WS.) nēd, (WS.) nīed = OS. nōd (Du. nood), OHG. nōt (G. not), ON. nauð, Goth. nauþs :- Gmc. *nauðiz, *nauþiz, rel. to OPruss. nautin need.
So need vb. be necessary OE.; have need, be in need. OE. nēodian (rare). Hence needful †needy XII; requisite, necessary XIV. needy indigent XII.

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need

needaccede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed •breastfeed • greenfeed • dripfeed •chickenfeed • spoonfeed • nosebleed •Nibelungenlied • invalid • Ganymede •Runnymede • airspeed • millipede •velocipede • centipede • Siegfried •filigreed • copyread • crossbreed •proofread • flaxseed • hayseed •rapeseed • linseed • pumpkinseed •aniseed • oilseed • birdseed • ragweed •knapweed • seaweed • chickweed •stinkweed • blanket weed • bindweed •pondweed • duckweed • tumbleweed •fireweed • waterweed • silverweed

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