Definition of needful in English:



  • 1formal Necessary; requisite.

    ‘a further word was needful’
    • ‘He reports that many Americans, however, tend to see the ‘war on terror’ as needful, legitimate, necessary.’
    • ‘If the nation resolved to do all these needful things, by the end of 2005 we would not only be ringing in the New Year but ringing out for joy for the whole nation.’
    • ‘The roads are also needful for safe delivery of agricultural inputs to the small-scale farmers themselves.’
    • ‘At the end of the section he writes: For one thing is needful: that a human being should attain satisfaction with himself, whether it be by means of this or that poetry or art; only then is a human being at all tolerable to behold.’
    • ‘But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’
    • ‘It was hardly needful for Katy to answer with her lips a question to which her tell-tale cheeks had made instant reply.’
    • ‘I have calls to make, and do not wish to detain you for longer than is needful.’
    • ‘The hardest thing I learned was to pace myself and do the most needful things first.’
    • ‘This is a kind of cultural fostering in which the role of parents is reduced to agents providing the money to buy in what is needful for a rich and complete childhood.’
    • ‘Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information.’
    • ‘The department of Archaeological Survey of India was just a call away from the Estate department officials but the latter did not take pains to do what was needful and prudent.’
    • ‘‘One thing is needful,’ Nietzsche wrote in The Gay Science.’
    • ‘But if you don't get that primitive, needful howl out of your system you're missing something vital to the human experience.’
    • ‘Remember, the devil rolls into a small New England town and opens up an antique store, and he seems to know what that special needful thing is that each and every person wants.’
    • ‘Even when carrying out needful tasks, do not let your intellect be idle but keep it meditating inwardly and praying.’
    • ‘What a profound, insightful and needful statement!’
    • ‘I wonder how many of us develop a kind of addiction to a spiritual feeling, a spiritual infatuation with God, a beautiful thing, a needful thing, but a thing that is not the real point.’
    • ‘I always ask myself who can still read such books, and how needful it is to read them so as not to lose touch.’
    • ‘He hoped he could do this without letting any more information slip to the enemy than was needful.’
    • ‘So now our tinderbox, and cauldron, and roasting fork, and bowls - all of these needful and precious things for our journeying - would lose their importance and become no more than what they were.’
    • ‘Another statement by Cantillon would also be seen as mercantilist: ‘It is needful to discourage all foreign manufactures and to give plenty of employment to the inhabitants.’’
    obligatory, requisite, required, compulsory, mandatory, imperative, demanded, needed, called for
    necessary, needed, required, requisite
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  • 2dated Needy.

    ‘she gave her money away to needful people’
    • ‘His body pressed atop mine so possessively; so needful and wanting.’
    • ‘The proposed minimum wage boost would hurt the very ones who are most needful of jobs - the poor.’
    • ‘With disarming frankness, she told how she believed her daughter was too trusting with other people, giving too much of herself when ‘she herself was needful of affection and understanding’.’
    • ‘Generous to a fault (and also needful to an extreme), Nouwen never quite found a place to call home except in his final years with the disabled.’
    • ‘I'd like to think that Elvis was there for all who were needful, or hard of heart.’
    • ‘The unconvincing swagger of maturity has been the pretend independence of a adolescent: a strained relationship with the parent country: resentful but at the same time needful.’
    • ‘My own thinking is that he's not so much in need of a keep fit campaign as he's needful of an outlet for all that energy.’
    poor, deprived, disadvantaged, underprivileged, in want, 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, moneyless
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the needful
  • What is necessary.

    ‘I call upon the authorities to do the needful’
    • ‘The tone of the letter suggested that he was more than willing to do the needful.’
    • ‘The club has already informed Leicester City that it cannot finance its visit; the hosts will have to do the needful.’
    • ‘He does the needful by giving the newborn a drop of honey.’
    • ‘Brennan did the needful and so no one lost face in this domestic skirmish.’
    • ‘In the meantime, police could do well to demonstrate that they are a capable force able to do the needful despite difficulties they encounter in accessing some of the basic needs.’
    • ‘Finally, to avoid any further embarrassment, Aryan took out his credit card and did the needful.’
    • ‘Even had he the benefit of the scaffolding erected behind Firhill's western end, it is doubtful whether he would have been able to do the needful.’
    • ‘At this stage - and for less money - I'm prepared to take the job and hire six graduates from Napier and Heriot Watt Universities to do the needful.’
    • ‘While many view the death penalty as a harsh and irrevocable step, they also hold that a life sentence would do the needful: it would protect society from the consequences of the criminal's destructive acts.’
    • ‘He urged the Chief Minister to do the needful in this regard so that the deplorable condition of jails all over the state could be improved.’
    • ‘The game was just two minutes old when Hawks were lured offside under their own posts and Bernard Hennessey did the needful.’
    • ‘But with a 16 year experience of holding those scissors and combs, Sandrine was sure that a bit of layering will do the needful.’
    • ‘Hopefully, the Chief Minister would do the needful at the right time, he said, throwing a sideways glance at a smiling Mr. Antony.’
    • ‘The try deserved a conversion and against the wind Peterson did the needful.’