Definition of need-to-know in English:



  • Denoting or relating to a principle or policy of telling people only what is deemed necessary for them to know in order to carry out a task effectively.

    ‘chemical principles are then introduced on a need-to-know basis’
    • ‘In an ideal world, restricted information would be encrypted and available only on a need-to-know basis.’
    • ‘The designated command representative can certify that the person receiving the course has the appropriate need-to-know and security classification.’
    • ‘The script metes out information on a strictly need-to-know basis, and yet by the end we still haven't been filled in completely.’
    • ‘The information focused on need-to-know issues.’
    • ‘It's one thing to release facts on a need-to-know basis; it's another to withhold information just for the sake of it.’
    • ‘Put simply, the computer responds in a need-to-know fashion during a database search, providing information only if the user conducting the search holds the required federal or legal clearances.’
    • ‘The operating system provides a means of tightly restricting the capabilities of user applications and system services to a strict need-to-know authorization.’
    • ‘Although we worked on a need-to-know basis, when she asked for names and specific details, she got them.’
    • ‘"I still believe that the information was being released on a drip, drip and a need-to-know basis."’
    • ‘Loyal and fiercely ambitious, she only sparingly shared need-to-know information with her own colleagues.’