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4 definitions found
 for Necessity
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Necessity \Ne*ces"si*ty\, n.; pl. Necessities. [OE. necessite,
     F. n['e]cessit['e], L. necessitas, fr. necesse. See
     Necessary.]
     1. The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or
        absolutely requisite; inevitableness; indispensableness.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing
        need; indigence; want.
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              Urge the necessity and state of times. --Shak.
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              The extreme poverty and necessity his majesty was
              in.                                   --Clarendon.
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     3. That which is necessary; a necessary; a requisite;
        something indispensable; -- often in the plural.
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              These should be hours for necessities,
              Not for delights.                     --Shak.
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              What was once to me
              Mere matter of the fancy, now has grown
              The vast necessity of heart and life. --Tennyson.
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     4. That which makes an act or an event unavoidable;
        irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical
        or moral; fate; fatality.
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              So spake the fiend, and with necessity,
              The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds.
                                                    --Milton.
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     5. (Metaph.) The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the
        subjection of all phenomena, whether material or
        spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism.
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     Of necessity, by necessary consequence; by compulsion, or
        irresistible power; perforce.
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     Syn: See Need.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  necessity
      n 1: the condition of being essential or indispensable
      2: anything indispensable; "food and shelter are necessities of
         life"; "the essentials of the good life"; "allow farmers to
         buy their requirements under favorable conditions"; "a place
         where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be
         obtained" [syn: necessity, essential, requirement,
         requisite, necessary] [ant: inessential,
         nonessential]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  126 Moby Thesaurus words for "necessity":
     absolute certainty, absoluteness, act of God, assurance,
     assuredness, bare cupboard, bare necessities, bare subsistence,
     beggarliness, beggary, call, call for, cause, certain knowledge,
     certainness, certainty, certitude, coaction, coercion, compulsion,
     compulsiveness, condition, constraint, dead certainty, decree,
     definiteness, demand, demand for, deprivation, desideration,
     desideratum, destitution, determinacy, determinateness, duress,
     empty purse, enforcement, essential, essentials, exigency, fate,
     fatefulness, force majeure, forcing, foredestiny,
     foregone conclusion, foreknowledge, foreordination,
     grinding poverty, gripe, hand-to-mouth existence, homelessness,
     impoverishment, indefeasibility, indigence, indispensable,
     indispensableness, ineluctability, inerrability, inerrancy,
     inescapableness, inevasibleness, inevitability,
     inevitable accident, inevitableness, inexorability, infallibilism,
     infallibility, inflexibility, irresistibility, irrevocability,
     lack, mendicancy, moneylessness, must, must item, necessaries,
     necessities, necessitousness, need, need for, needfulness,
     neediness, nonambiguity, noncontingency, obligation, obligement,
     occasion, pauperism, pauperization, penury, pinch, positiveness,
     predestination, predetermination, preordination, prerequirement,
     prerequisite, prescience, privation, probatum, proved fact,
     relentlessness, requirement, requisite, requisiteness, requisition,
     restraint, sine qua non, sureness, surety, the necessary,
     the needful, truth, unambiguity, unavoidable casualty,
     unavoidableness, uncontrollability, undeflectability,
     unequivocalness, univocity, unmistakableness, unpreventability,
     unyieldingness, vis major, want
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  NECESSITY. In general, whatever makes the contrary of a thing impossible, 
  whatever may be the cause of such impossibilities, 
       2. Whatever is done through necessity, is done without any intention, 
  and as the act is done without will, (q.v.) and is compulsory, the agent is 
  not legally responsible. Bac. Max. Reg. 5. Hence the maxim, necessity has no 
  law; indeed necessity is itself a law which cannot be avoided nor infringed. 
  Clef des Lois Rom. h.t.; Dig 10, 3, 10, 1; Com. Dig. Pleader, 3 M 20, 3 M 
  30. 
       3. It follows, then, that the acts of a man in violation of law., or to 
  the injury of another, may be justified by necessity, because the actor has 
  no will to do or not to do the thing, he is a mere tool; but, it is 
  conceived, this necessity must be absolute and irresistible, in fact, or so 
  presumed in point of law. 
       4. The cases which are justified by necessity, may be classed as 
  follows: 
       I. For the preservation of life; as if two persons are on the same 
  plank, and one must perish, the survivor is justified in having thrown off 
  the other, who was thereby drowned. Bac. Max, Reg. 5. 
       5.-2. Obedience by a person subject to the power of another; for 
  example, if a wife should commit a larceny with her husband, in this case 
  the law presumes she acted by coercion of her husband, and, being compelled, 
  by necessity, she is justifiable. 1 Russ. Cr. 16, 20; Bac. Max. Reg. 5. 
       6.-3. Those cases which arise from the act of God, or inevitable 
  accident, or from the act of man, as public enemies. Vide Act of God; 
  Inevitable Accident and also 15 Vin. Ab. 534 Dane's Ab h.t.; 2 Stark. Ev. 
  713; Marsh. Ins. b. 1, c. 6, s. 3 Jacob's Intr. to. Com. Law. Reg. 74. 
       7.-4. There is another species of necessity. The actor in these cases 
  is not compelled to do the act whether he will or not, but he has no choice 
  left but to do the act which may be injurious to another, or to lose the 
  total use of his property. For example, when a man's lands are surrounded by 
  those of others, so that he cannot enjoy them without trespassing on his 
  neighbors. The way which is thus obtained, is called a way of necessity. 
  Gale and Whatley on Easements, 71; 11 Co. 52; Hob. 234; 1 Saund. 323, note. 
  See 3 Rawle, R. 495; 3 M'Cord, R. 131; Id. 170; 14 Mass. R. 56; 2 B. & C. 
  96; 2 Bing. R. 76; 8 T. R. 50; Cro. Jac. 170; 2 Roll. Ab. 60; 3 Kent, Com. 
  423; 3 Rawle's R. 492; 1 Taunt. R. 279; 8 Taunt. R. 24; ST. R. 50; Ham. N. 
  P. 198; Cro. Jac. 170; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1637; and Way. 
  
  

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