Old English nēodian (verb), nēod, nēd (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nood and German Not 'danger'
1 In modern English, there are two quite distinct uses for the verb need. In the first place it is used as a normal verb meaning ‘require’: I need some money; I need to see her today. Second, it is one of a small class of verbs called modals (like can, could, and might, for example), which cannot stand alone without another verb and do not take normal verb endings or normal negative constructions, e.g. he need not worry, not he needs not worry; he can’t swim, not he doesn’t can swim. Because of this dual grammatical status, it is sometimes called a semi-modal.2 The two constructions in that shirt needs washing (verb + present participle) and that shirt needs to be washed (verb + infinitive and past participle) have more or less the same meaning. Both these constructions are acceptable in standard English, but a third construction, that shirt needs washed (verb + bare past participle), is restricted to certain dialects of Scotland and North America and is not considered acceptable in standard English.