necessity

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bare necessities

That which is absolutely essential, with nothing superfluous, extravagant, or unnecessary. All I'm looking for in a mobile phone is the bare necessities: the ability to make phone calls. They weren't kidding when they said the apartment only had the bare necessities: just a bed, a bathroom, and a stove!
See also: bare, necessity

necessity is the mother of innovation

The need for something tends to spark creative thinking and action. A less common variant of the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention." A: "I think she'll come up with a solution if we stop stepping in to help her." B: "That's a good point—necessity is the mother of innovation, after all."
See also: mother, necessity, of

necessity is the mother of invention

Creative solutions are often produced in response to difficulties or hardships that need to be overcome. A: "I needed to drain the washing machine to try and unblock it, so I used an old bike tube to funnel the water out the back door." B: "Wow, necessity is the mother of invention, huh?"
See also: mother, necessity, of

make a virtue of necessity

To attend to an obligation with a good attitude; to make the best of a situation in which one is required to do something. There will be many times in your life where you have to do something you don't want to, so it's best to learn very early how to make a virtue of necessity.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

of necessity

1. Literally, having to do with or relating to necessity. You don't seem to understand that the issues of necessity and pragmatism outweigh those idealism and desire.
2. Absolutely necessary; of the utmost importance. This is a matter of necessity for us—if we don't secure this investment, the company is as good as finished.
3. Necessarily; as an inevitable or unavoidable outcome or consequence. Of necessity, we are closing the factory for the week to allow investigators to conduct their examination.
See also: necessity, of

Necessity knows no law

Desperation will drive those in need to disobey the law to obtain what they require. I had a pretty hardline on crime until I lost my job, became homeless, and had to resort to stealing to avoid starving to death. Since then, I've come to realize that necessity knows no law.
See also: know, law, necessity, no

out of necessity

Done because of some obligation, need, or requirement. I drive a car out of necessity, but I much prefer riding my bicycle. Many people in the world are forced to steal out of necessity, lest they starve to death.
See also: necessity, of, out

make a virtue of necessity

Prov. to do what you have to do cheerfully or willingly. When Bill's mother became sick, there was no one but Bill to take care of her, so Bill made a virtue of necessity and resolved to enjoy their time together.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Prov. When people really need to do something, they will figure out a way to do it. When the fan belt on Linda's car broke in the middle of the desert, Linda used her stockings as a replacement. Necessity is the mother of invention.
See also: mother, necessity, of

Necessity knows no law.

Prov. If you are desperate, you may have to do illegal things. I'm an honest person by nature, but I lost my job, and my kids needed food and clothes, and it seemed like the best way to get money was to deal in illegal drugs. Necessity knows no law.
See also: know, law, necessity, no

out of necessity

because of necessity; due to need. I bought this hat out of necessity. I needed one, and this was all there was. We sold our car out of necessity.
See also: necessity, of, out

bare necessities

Just sufficient resources, with nothing to spare. For example, The room was furnished with just the bare necessities-bed, table, chair. This idiom uses bare in the sense of "mere, and nothing else," a usage dating from about 1200.
See also: bare, necessity

make a virtue of necessity

Do the best one can under given circumstances, as in Since he can't break the contract, Bill's making a virtue of necessity. This expression first appeared in English in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale: "Then is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, to make virtue of necessity." Also see make the best of.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

necessity is the mother of invention

Inventiveness and ingenuity are stimulated by difficulty. For example, The first prisoner to tie together bedsheets to escape knew that necessity was the mother of invention . This proverb first appeared in English in 1519 in slightly different form, "Need taught him wit," and exists in many other languages as well.
See also: mother, necessity, of

of necessity

Also, out of necessity. As an inevitable consequence, unavoidably, as in the New Testament: "Of necessity he must release one unto them at the Feast" (Luke 23:17). [Late 1300s]
See also: necessity, of

make a virtue of necessity

derive some credit or benefit from an unwelcome obligation.
This is a concept found in Latin in the writings of St Jerome: facis de necessitate virtutem ‘you make a virtue of necessity’. It passed into Old French (faire de necessité vertu ) and was apparently first used in English around 1374 by Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde.
1997 Spectator How important it is for humanity always to make a virtue out of necessity.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

neˌcessity is the ˌmother of inˈvention

(saying) a very difficult new problem forces people to think of, design, produce, etc. a solution to it: ‘So how did you manage to open the bottle?’ ‘I used a bit of wire and a stick. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes.’
See also: mother, necessity, of

make a ˌvirtue of neˈcessity

act in a good or moral way, and perhaps expect praise for this, not because you chose to but because in that particular situation you had no choice
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

of necessity

As an inevitable consequence; necessarily.
See also: necessity, of

make a virtue of necessity, to

To make the best of things. This expression dates from the time of Chaucer, who may have been its originator in English (“Thanne is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, To maken virtu of necessitie,” The Knight’s Tale); there are still earlier versions in Latin. It has been repeated ever since. See also make the best of it.
See also: make, of, virtue

necessity is the mother of invention

Urgent need prompts one to devise a new solution. Words to this effect date from the time of the ancient Greeks, but the precise phrase first occurs in William Wycherley’s play Love in a Wood (1672, 3.3): “Necessity, mother of invention!” It is a proverb in Italian, French, German, and probably numerous other languages.
See also: mother, necessity, of
References in periodicals archive ?
We can use these categories to identify changes in the proportions of luxuries and necessities consumed in the different age groups.
"This contrasts greatly with the necessities we in this country consider to be important.
Likewise, publicly consumed necessities attracted more peer influence than private consumed luxuries and privately consumed necessities.
The Bare Necessities Truck is being designed under the GMC brand and claims to give 40 mpg.
BEIJING: China yesterday said said that it would temporarily intervene in the market to brake rising prices for basic necessities like food, underlining its concern over mounting inflationary pressures ahead of a major holiday.
These words may be grouped together as part of the following unifying core concept: Our profession provides engineering for the necessities of life.
It may arrive progressively and be driven by emerging economic opportunities, political constraints and environmental necessities. It may come quickly in response to global political conflicts and economic pressures.
Both actions are very ancient and began as practical necessities, but eventually the necessities disappeared and were even forgotten.
(155) Under the circumstances, Turkey found that its resort to "measures imperative to its own security [the incursions into Iraq] originating from the principle of self-preservation and necessities, cannot be regarded as a violation of Iraq's sovereignty." (156)
Since the death of Antonin Artaud in the late 1940s, the greatness of poetry in French has come out of Third World necessities, rather than from the voids of post WWII within France itself.
To purchase storage equipment for the newly renovated distribution warehouse and to purchase a van that will enable the organization to more efficiently distribute basic necessities to clients in need.
The exhibition was titled "A Mobile Home & Other Necessities," the "other necessities" being one of the world's truly precious commodities.
In the end, she was found guilty of a complete absurdity--failing to provide her child with the necessities of life.
They regarded the abominable practices of human sacrifice and cannibalism as practical necessities. Similarly, our own Power Elite considers perpetual war to be a practical necessity, as it supplies the fodder upon which its War God feeds: Debt.
Art is for most people a luxury to be indulged after we have completed the necessities of living.