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Coined in 1972 by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel in the children's book The Lorax. Whimsically resembles many basic Anglo-Saxon words in English.


  • IPA(key): /ˈθniːd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːd


thneed (plural thneeds)

  1. A useless product which is advertised as being needed by everybody, but which in fact no one needs.
    • 2000, David Kumar, Daryl Chubin, Science, Technology, and Society: A Sourcebook on Research and Practice[1], page 221:
      Do You Really, I Mean REALLY, Need a Thneed?
    • 2004, Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude[2], page 361:
      I needed orange juice, a toothbrush, a blood transfusion, a Bloody Mary, Abigale Ponders, Leslie Cunningham, a Thneed, someone to watch over me, a miracle every day—anything but a moment of truth between myself and Zelmo Swift.
    • 2012, Shauna Springer, Marriage, for Equals: The Successful Joint (Ad)Ventures of Well-Educated Couples[3], page 12:
      Call now—the remarkable 'thneed' is available only while supplies last...”