necessary

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deem it necessary

To determine that something is necessary. I didn't deem it necessary to give the boys detention because having their shirts untucked isn't a very serious infraction.
See also: deem, necessary

deem it to be necessary

To determine that something is necessary. I didn't deem it to be necessary to give the boys detention because having their shirts untucked isn't a very serious infraction.
See also: deem, necessary

deem that it is necessary

To determine that something is necessary. I deemed that it was it necessary to give the boys detention because they kept disrupting my class.
See also: deem, necessary, that

if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him

A sentiment expressed by 18th-century French philosopher Voltaire that emphasizes the human need to believe in a divine being. People can't help it—they need something bigger than themselves to believe in, so if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
See also: did, god, if, invent, necessary, not

necessary evil

Something bad that must exist or occur in order for something good to happen. These days, student loans are a necessary evil in order to get an education that leads to a well-paying job. Some view dictators as a necessary evil who keep the region stable by suppressing more radical elements.
See also: evil, necessary

the necessary

1. The funds that are necessary for or to do something. We're hoping outside investors will be able to provide the necessary to get our company up and running.
2. That which is required, necessary, or mandatory. A: "I know you're sure that the body we recovered belongs to the suspect, but we still need a positive ID from his next of kin." B: "OK, I'll contact his wife to come in and do the necessary."
3. euphemism Urination or defecation. This is the last rest stop for the next four hours, so anyone who needs to do the necessary had better do it now!
4. obsolete euphemism A toilet or outhouse. Back when I was growing up, nothing was worse than having to go out to the necessary in the middle of the night by yourself.
See also: necessary

deem it (to be) necessary

 and deem that it is necessary
to decide that something is necessary. Mary deemed that it was necessary to leave town that night. Lisa deemed it necessary to go home.
See also: deem, necessary

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.

Prov. People need a deity to worship. (This is an English translation of a quote from Voltaire. It is often parodied, using a person's name instead of God and implying that the person is somehow necessary.) The atheist tried to convince Jerry that God does not exist, and that people should not waste their time worshiping Him. "But you can't stop people from worshiping God," Jerry replied. "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him." The unscrupulous mayor was such a convenient scapegoat for the city's problems that if she had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent her.
See also: did, god, if, invent, necessary, not

a necessary evil

COMMON If you describe something as a necessary evil, you mean that although it is unpleasant, it is needed. He viewed war as a necessary evil. Managers sometimes think that training is a necessary evil that has to be done but is too expensive.
See also: evil, necessary

a necessary evil

something that is undesirable but must be accepted.
1997 Internet World Advertising may be a necessary evil. After all, someone has to support Internet ventures.
See also: evil, necessary

a ˌnecessary ˈevil

a thing that is unpleasant or even harmful, but which must be accepted because it brings some benefit: Injections against tropical illnesses are a necessary evil when you are planning to travel to that part of the world.I suppose all these security measures are a necessary evil.
See also: evil, necessary

the necessary

n. money; an income. (Also a really old term for a toilet or bathroom.) I can always use more of the necessary.
See also: necessary