A need is a thing that a living being, plant or animal, must have to live or to be happy. A thing that someone would like to have, but just needs enough, is called a want.
Every person has the same basic needs for the body. Humans have boldily needs of water, food, clothing, and shelter to live. The need for water is the most important because a person will die very quickly without drinking water. In a warm place food is the next most important need. In a cold place, the need for clothes or shelter may be next most important because a person will soon die without these.
Other human needs are not so certain. They are mostly needs for the mind. It is often said that a person needs love, family, and friends. These needs are for personal relationships. They may also be wants. It is true that a life may be better with these things, but some friends can be bad, or bad sometimes. Good relationships can make life very happy. Thinking about a need that is not possible can make a person very unhappy.
Some of the study of philosophy is about questions like "What are the needs of a human?" The word philosophy is from Greek, meaning the "love of wisdom".
Some scientists study the needs of human or animal minds and bodies. The study of the mind is called psychology - "words about the mind". The study of bodily needs is part of medicine.

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