From Old French requerre (French: requérir), from Vulgar Latin *requærere, from Latin requīrō (I require, seek, ask for).



require (third-person singular simple present requires, present participle requiring, simple past and past participle required)

  1. (obsolete) To ask (someone) for something; to request. [14th-17thc.]
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book XI, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      I requyre yow lete vs be sworne to gyders that neuer none of vs shalle after this day haue adoo with other, and there with alle syre Tristram and sire Lamorak sware that neuer none of hem shold fyghte ageynst other nor for wele, nor for woo.
    • 1526, Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Mark V:
      I requyre the in the name of god, that thou torment me nott.
  2. To demand, to insist upon (having); to call for authoritatively. [from 14thc.]
    • 1998, Joan Wolf, The Gamble, Warner Books:
      "I am Miss Newbury," I announced, "and I require to be shown to my room immediately, if you please."
    • 2009, Vikram Dodd, The Guardian, 29 December:
      ‘Regrettably, I have concluded, after considering the matter over Christmas [], that I can no longer maintain the high standard of service I require of myself, meet the demands of office and cope with the pressures of public life, without my health deteriorating further.’
  3. Naturally to demand (something) as indispensable; to need, to call for as necessary. [from 15thc.]
    • 1972, "Aid for Aching Heads", Time, 5 June:
      Chronic pain is occasionally a sign of a very serious problem, like brain tumors, and can require surgery.
    • 2009, Julian Borger, The Guardian, 7 February:
      A weapon small enough to put on a missile would require uranium enriched to more than 90% U-235.
  4. To demand of (someone) to do something. [from 18thc.]
    • 1970, "Compulsory Midi", Time, 29 June:
      After Aug 3 all salesgirls will be required to wear only one style of skirt while on duty: the midi.
    • 2007, Allegra Stratton, "Smith to ban non-EU unskilled immigrants from working in UK", The Guardian, 5 December:
      The government would like to require non-British fiances who wish to marry a British citizen to sit an English test.


Related termsEdit


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Further readingEdit





  1. present of requirer
  2. imperative of requirer




  1. second-person singular present active imperative of requīrō