One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a person) lacking the necessities of life; needy.‘dried milk was supplied to necessitous mothers’
poor, deprived, disadvantaged, underprivileged, in want, needful, badly off, hard up, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, unable to make ends meet, unable to keep the wolf from the door, poverty-stricken, indigent, impoverished, on one's beam-ends, as poor as a church mouse, dirt poor, destitute, penurious, impecunious, penniless, moneylessneedy, in need, poor, badly off, hard up, short of money, disadvantaged, underprivileged, unable to make ends meet, needful, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, impoverished, poverty-stricken, penurious, penniless, impecunious, destitute, indigent, on one's beam-ends, as poor as a church mouseView synonyms
- ‘The government was subsequently informed by the ship's captain that the Tampa would not enter Australian waters if medical assistance for necessitous cases were provided.’
- ‘Glasgow Education Authority organised holidays for the necessitous children of the city from the 1920s onwards.’
- ‘Defenders of protective legislation were therefore forced to abandon their reliance on the argument that women were especially necessitous, and instead argue that the courts misunderstood the true meaning of liberty of contract.’
- ‘I want also to see panels of voluntary nurses who can be detailed off to attend to necessitous patients in their own home.’
- ‘As the laborers saw it - ‘competition forces all employers to come down to the level of the most grasping, and forces all workmen to accept the rate of pay accepted by the most necessitous.’’
Early 17th century: from French nécessiteux, or from necessity + -ous.
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