The Difference Between

What is the difference between 'necessity' and 'necessary'?

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January 16, 2009 8:40AM

In Common usage:
Necessity is a noun which means 'a thing that is needed'. Necessary is an adjective which means 'needed'. Thus, "necessity" means "necessary thing".

In Philosophy:
"Necessary" is an adjective meaning "cannot be otherwise" (as opposed to "Contingent" which means "can possibly be otherwise"). "Necessity" is a noun meaning "something which cannot be otherwise".