Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

require - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive]     require pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerequiring
past tenserequired
past participlerequired
  1. 1
    to need someone or something

    The cause of the accident is still unclear and requires further investigation.

  2. 2
    if a rule, law, contract etc requires something, you must do that thing

    No previous knowledge of Arabic is required for admission to the university.

    require someone to do something:

    The agreement requires all parties to renounce the use of violence.

    be required to do something:

    The amount that patients are required to pay has been raised.

    required reading:

    His poems are now required reading on most literature courses.

quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play