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From necessitous +‎ -ness.


necessitousness (uncountable)

  1. The state or condition of impoverishment; material need, especially of an urgent nature.
    • 1716, Thomas Browne, Christian Morals, 2nd edition edited by Samuel Johnson, London: J. Payne, 1756, Part I, p. 13,[1]
      [] give thou also before asking; that is, where want is silently clamorous, and men’s necessities not their tongues do loudly call for thy mercies. For though sometimes necessitousness be dumb, or misery speak not out, yet true charity is sagacious, and will find out hints for beneficence.
    • 1973, Jacob Ziegel, "Recent Developments in Canadian Consumer Credit Law," The Modern Law Review, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 495-6:
      If necessitousness implies a pressing need for the money and a lack of ability to bargain over rates, then it would seem the modern consumer is not in a very different position from his pre-war cousin.
  2. (rare) The state or condition of being necessary or essential; necessity.
    • 1946, Walter Firey, "Ecological Considerations in Planning for Rurban Fringes," American Sociological Review, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 413:
      Some of the forces incline the land toward agricultural use, others incline it toward residential use. . . . There is no economic necessitousness that would dictate one or the other use.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Necessitude, necessitousness, necessitation, necessariness are all nouns closely related to necessity, but they tend to have narrower ranges of usage than the term necessity. The principal sense of necessitude and necessitousness is impoverishment, but the plural form of the former (necessitudes) denotes a set of circumstances which is inevitable or unavoidable. Necessitation is used to suggest necessity as a philosophical or cosmic principle. Necessariness tends to be used to stress a direct connection to the adjective necessary.

Related terms[edit]