Of necessity; necessarily; indispensably; often with must, and equivalent to of need. "A man must needs love mauger his head." (Chaucer) "And he must needs go through Samaria." (John iv. 4) "He would needs know the cause of his reulse." (Sir J. Davies)

Origin: Orig. Gen. Of need, used as an adverb. Cf. -wards.

(01 Mar 1998)

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