From Middle English needely, neodliche, from Old English nēodlīċe (“eagerly, earnestly, carefully, zealously, diligently, sedulously; greatly”), equivalent to need (“desire”) + -ly. Cognate with Old Saxon niudlīko (“zealously, carefully”), German niedlich (“desirable, appealing, lovely, cute”).
From Middle English needely, nedelich, from Old English *nīedlīċe (“necessarily”), from nīedlīc (“necessary”), equivalent to need (“necessity, need”) + -ly. Merged with Etymology 1 above. Cognate with Middle Dutch nodelike, Middle Low German nōtliken, Middle High German nōtliche.
- (informal) Like a needle or needles.
- a needly horn; a needly beard
- (Can we find and add a quotation of R. D. Blackmore to this entry?)