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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]