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From Middle English nedy, nedi (necessitous), from Old English nēdiġ, *nīediġ ("of need, obligated, compelled"; found in the derivative nīediġnes (obligation)), from Proto-Germanic *naudigaz (of need, forced, compelled), equivalent to need +‎ -y. Cognate with Scots nedy, neidy (needy, necessitous, impoverished), Saterland Frisian niedich (miserable, poor, wretched, needy), Dutch nodig (necessary), Middle Low German nōdich (necessary, urgent, by requirement), German nötig (necessary, needful), Danish nødig (necessary), Swedish nödig (necessary), Icelandic nauðugur (constrained).



needy (comparative needier, superlative neediest)

  1. In need, poor.
    Needy people want to give too, but have few material goods to offer.
    • 29 February 2012, Aidan Foster-Carter, BBC News North Korea: The denuclearisation dance resumes[1]
      Such monitoring has often been a sticking point in the past, amid fears that food aid might be diverted to the Northern elite - or its military - rather than the needy.
  2. Desiring constant affirmation, lacking in self confidence
    "It's emotionally exhausting to be around her because she's so needy."


  • ("desiring constant affirmation): confident


Derived terms[edit]