Necessity vs Supply - What's the difference?

necessity | supply |

As nouns the difference between necessity and supply

is that necessity is the quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite while supply is (uncountable) the act of supplying.

As a verb supply is

to provide (something), to make (something) available for use.

As an adverb supply is

supplely: in a supple manner, with suppleness.



  • The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-28, author=(Joris Luyendijk)
  • , volume=189, issue=3, page=21, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Our banks are out of control , passage=Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. […]  But the scandals kept coming, […]. A broad section of the political class now recognises the need for change but remains unable to see the necessity of a fundamental overhaul.}}
  • The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing need; indigence; want.
  • That which is necessary; a requisite; something indispensable.
  • *
  • Love and compassion are necessities , not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
  • That which makes an act or an event unavoidable; irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical or moral; fate; fatality.
  • * 1804 , Wordsworth,
  • I stopped, and said with inly muttered voice,
    'It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold:
    This neither is its courage nor its choice,
    But its necessity in being old.
  • The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism.
  • (legal) Greater utilitarian good; used in justification of a criminal act .
  • (legal, in the plural) Indispensable requirements (of life).
  • Synonyms

    * (state of being necessary) inevitability, certainty


    * (state of being necessary) impossibility, contingency * (something indispensable) luxury

    Derived terms

    * make a virtue of necessity





    (wikipedia supply)

    Alternative forms

    * supplely

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) souploier, from (etyl) .


  • To provide (something), to make (something) available for use.
  • to supply money for the war
  • To furnish or equip with.
  • to supply''' a furnace with fuel; to '''supply soldiers with ammunition
  • To fill up, or keep full.
  • Rivers are supplied by smaller streams.
  • To compensate for, or make up a deficiency of.
  • * 1881 , :
  • It was objected against him that he had never experienced love. Whereupon he arose, left the society, and made it a point not to return to it until he considered that he had supplied the defect.
  • To serve instead of; to take the place of.
  • * Waller
  • Burning ships the banished sun supply .
  • * Dryden
  • The sun was set, and Vesper, to supply / His absent beams, had lighted up the sky.
  • To act as a substitute.
  • To fill temporarily; to serve as substitute for another in, as a vacant place or office; to occupy; to have possession of.
  • to supply a pulpit
    Derived terms
    * supplier


  • (uncountable) The act of supplying.
  • supply and demand
  • (countable) An amount of something supplied.
  • A supply of good drinking water is essential.
  • (in the plural) provisions.
  • (mostly, in the plural) An amount of money provided, as by Parliament or Congress, to meet the annual national expenditures.
  • to vote supplies
  • Somebody, such as a teacher or clergyman, who temporarily fills the place of another; a substitute.
  • Derived terms
    * supply teacher

    Etymology 2


    (en adverb)
  • Supplely: in a supple manner, with suppleness.
  • * 1906 , Ford Madox Ford, The fifth queen: and how she came to court , page 68:
  • His voice was playful and full; his back was bent supply .
  • * 1938 , David Leslie Murray, Commander of the mists :
  • * 1963 , Johanna Moosdorf, Next door :
  • She swayed slightly in the gusts, bent supply to them and seemed at one with the force which Straup found so hostile.
  • * 1988 , ??????? ?????????????? ???????? (Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov), Quiet flows the Don (translated), volume 1, page 96:
  • Grigory hesitantly took her in his arms to kiss her, but she held him off, bent supply backwards and shot a frightened glance at the windows.
    'They'll see!'
    'Let them!'
    'I'd be ashamed—'