necessary evil meaning, necessary evil definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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necessary

  

      adj  
1    needed to achieve a certain desired effect or result; required  
2    resulting from necessity; inevitable  
the necessary consequences of your action     
3      (Logic)  
a    (of a statement, formula, etc.) true under all interpretations or in all possible circumstances  
b    (of a proposition) determined to be true by its meaning, so that its denial would be self-contradictory  
c    (of a property) essential, so that without it its subject would not be the entity it is  
d    (of an inference) always yielding a true conclusion when its premises are true; valid  
e    (of a condition) entailed by the truth of some statement or the obtaining of some state of affairs,   (Compare)        sufficient       2  
4      (Philosophy)   (in a nonlogical sense) expressing a law of nature, so that if it is in this sense necessary that all As are B, even although it is not contradictory to conceive of an A which is not B, we are licensed to infer that if something were an A it would have to be B  
5    Rare   compelled, as by necessity or law; not free  
      n  
6    Informal   preceded by: the   the money required for a particular purpose  
7    do the necessary  
Informal   to do something that is necessary in a particular situation,   (See also)        necessaries  
     (C14: from Latin necessarius indispensable, from necesse unavoidable)  
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"