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From French nécessiteux.[1]



necessitous (comparative more necessitous, superlative most necessitous)

  1. (archaic) Needy, indigent, destitute, poor.
    • 1724, Charles Johnson, “Of Captain Bartho[lomew] Roberts, and His Crew”, in A General History of the Pyrates, [], 2nd edition, London: Printed for, and sold by T. Warner, [], →OCLC, page 241:
      [W]ith what Face could Wretches who had ravaged and made so many Neceſſitous, look up for Relief; they had to that Moment lived in Defiance of the Power that now alone they muſt truſt for their Preſervation, []
    • 1793, Hugh Worthington, Jr., The Duty of Instructing and Relieving Necessitous Children., page 32:
      Thus I have laid before you some arguments, plain indeed, but I hope not nugatory, to enforce a cheerful and generous attention to institutions formed for the instruction and relief of necessitous children
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “chapter 6 (“Monk Samson”)”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      For all our vow of poverty, we can by rule amass to the extent of ’two shillings’; but it is to be given to our necessitous kindred, or in charity.
  2. Lacking; required.
    • 1927, New Zealand Parliament, Parliamentary Debates - Volume 213, page 1049:
      Ministers come down I can promise them plenty of entertainment by deputations waiting on them and reminding them of the fact that we are a live people and are anxious to have a portion of the necessitous things conferred on the district.
    • 2012, Advances in Gram-Positive Cocci Research and Application, →ISBN:
      “Transcriptional regulators of the diphtheria toxin repressor (DtxR) family control the expression of genes involved in the uptake of iron and manganese, which is not only necessitous nutrients but also was suggested to be essential for intracellular redox cycling of microorganisms.
    • 2015, Richard Boeke, Mysticism and Social Action, →ISBN:
      I think that a part of my assignment is to distill out of the raw material of my experience all the necessitous ingredients that I need to make my journey.
  3. Necessary; unavoidable.
    • 1809, Edward Pugh, London, David Hughson, page 353:
      6thly, That there shall be prayers twice a day at due times to be appointed by the schoolmaster (holidays and sickness, or any other needful and necessitous cause to be shewn to the contrary) and to be said by him in the school house adjoining the alms-houses; at which prayers, I ordain, that all the almswomen of the said almshouse be duly and daily there present (except they be hindered by reason of sickness, or some other tolerable cause to be admitted) of whom the schoolmaster was to examine into the same, wherein I desire him to be very careful to observe.
    • 1940, United States Temporary National Economic Committee, Verbatim Record of the Proceedings of the Temporary National Economic Committtee:
      Those are the necessitous things you must do to make the farm a going concern and make it attractive to the farmer to buy it.
    • 1977, Miguel de Unamuno, Anthony Kerrigan, Martin Nozick, The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, →ISBN, page 180:
      A reason of this kind, a necessitous reason, is not personal.
    • 1995, Robert N. Covington, Kurt H. Decker, “General Concepts and Current Issues”, in Individual Employee Rights in a Nutshell (Nutshell Series), St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing Co., →ISBN, section D (Smoking), page 355:
      Former employees are entitled to compensation in this instance if the workplace smoke was a “necessitous and compelling” reason for terminating employment, and that the employer was unable to meet its burden of showing that a reasonable accommodation was offered.
    • 2010, Alba Conte, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Law and Practice, →ISBN, page 12-2102:
      Serrano was unable to demonstrate the third requirement of a necessitous and compelling reason for her voluntary quit, i.e., that she acted with common sense.