Pronunciation: (nu-ses'i-tē), [key]
1. something necessary or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.
2. the fact of being necessary or indispensable; indispensability: the necessity of adequate housing.
3. an imperative requirement or need for something: the necessity for a quick decision.
4. the state or fact of being necessary or inevitable: to face the necessity of testifying in court.
5. an unavoidable need or compulsion to do something: not by choice but by necessity.
6. a state of being in financial need; poverty: a family in dire necessity.
7. Philos.the quality of following inevitably from logical, physical, or moral laws.
8. of necessity, as an inevitable result; unavoidably; necessarily: Our trip to China must of necessity be postponed for a while.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.