Definition of needful in English:



  • 1formal Necessary; requisite.

    ‘a further word was needful’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The roads are also needful for safe delivery of agricultural inputs to the small-scale farmers themselves.’
    • ‘The hardest thing I learned was to pace myself and do the most needful things first.’
    • ‘But if you don't get that primitive, needful howl out of your system you're missing something vital to the human experience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘One thing is needful,’ Nietzsche wrote in The Gay Science.’
    • ‘I have calls to make, and do not wish to detain you for longer than is needful.’
    • ‘It was hardly needful for Katy to answer with her lips a question to which her tell-tale cheeks had made instant reply.’
    • ‘But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’
    • ‘He hoped he could do this without letting any more information slip to the enemy than was needful.’
    • ‘I always ask myself who can still read such books, and how needful it is to read them so as not to lose touch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What a profound, insightful and needful statement!’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He reports that many Americans, however, tend to see the ‘war on terror’ as needful, legitimate, necessary.’
    • ‘Even when carrying out needful tasks, do not let your intellect be idle but keep it meditating inwardly and praying.’
    • ‘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.’
    obligatory, requisite, required, compulsory, mandatory, imperative, demanded, needed, called for
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  • 2dated Needy.

    ‘she gave her money away to needful people’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'd like to think that Elvis was there for all who were needful, or hard of heart.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    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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