different between necessariness vs necessity




necessary +? -ness


necessariness (uncountable)

  1. The state or characteristic of being necessary.
    • 1898, S. S. Laurie, "The Growth of Mind as a Real and the Influence of the Formal on the Real", The School Revew, vol. 6, no. 4, p. 255:
      Time and space are themselves part of the phenomena or object. . . . It is the necessariness of these perceptions which has led to their being elevated to the position of abstract wholes in which all things exist.
    • 1981, Jerald P. Keene, "The Ill-Advised State Court Revival of the 'McNabb-Mallory' Rule," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 72, no. 1, p. 222:
      The test was so general that defendant flooded the court's docket with appeals seeking judicial examination of the necessariness of prearraignment detentions.
    • 2001 Nov. 19, Jason Cowley, "Books: Still life in mobile homes," New Statesman (UK) (retrieved 30 Sep. 2008):
      A journey, one would think, ought to have a certain necessariness; there must be a reason for going.

Usage notes

  • Necessitude, necessitousness, necessitation, necessariness are all nouns closely related to necessity, but they tend to have narrower ranges of usage than the term necessity. The principal sense of necessitude and necessitousness is impoverishment, but the plural form of the former (necessitudes) denotes a set of circumstances which is inevitable or unavoidable. Necessitation is used to suggest necessity as a philosophical or cosmic principle. Necessariness tends to be used to stress a direct connection to the adjective necessary.

necessariness From the web:




From Middle English necessite, from Old French necessite, from Latin necessit?s (unavoidableness, compulsion, exigency, necessity), from necesse (unavoidable, inevitable); see necessary.


  • IPA(key): /n??s?s?ti/


necessity (countable and uncountable, plural necessities)

  1. The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite.
  2. The condition of being needy; desperate need; lack.
    • 1863, Richard Sibbes, The Successful Seeker, in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, D.D., Volume VI, James Nichol, page 125,
      For it is in vain for a man to think to seek God in his necessity and exigence, if he seek not God in his ordinances, and do not joy in them.
  3. Something necessary; a requisite; something indispensable.
    • 20th century, Tenzin Gyatso (attributed)
      Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
  4. Something which makes an act or an event unavoidable; an irresistible force; overruling power.
    • 1804, Wordsworth, The Small Celandine
      I stopped, and said with inly muttered voice,
      'It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold:
      This neither is its courage nor its choice,
      But its necessity in being old.
  5. The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  6. (law) Greater utilitarian good; used in justification of a criminal act.
  7. (law, in the plural) Indispensable requirements (of life).


  • (state of being necessary): inevitability, certainty


  • (state of being necessary): impossibility, contingency
  • (something indispensable): luxury

Derived terms

Related terms


Further reading

  • necessity in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • necessity in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.


  • cysteines

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