Creating a spare disk will 'x' the need for more disk space.

What is the replacement for 'x' — I can think of 'prevent', 'negate', 'skip', but I am looking for a better word to convey that 'it will not require doing something'.

  • Could you please add a full sentence conveying the same idea in different words as it's not clear what you want to say.
    – dubious
    Jun 1 at 11:24
  • …reduce the need for more disk space.
    – Gio
    Jun 1 at 11:33
  • 1
    In your case, adding a disk will solve or address the need for more space. Obviate or alleviate are also good. Jun 1 at 13:25
  • Variable has changed the question in a comment on my answer, it needs editing to reflect the changed question
    – WendyG
    Jun 1 at 13:49
  • will nix the need
    – Lambie
    Jun 1 at 14:30

5 Answers 5


There's the far more formal term obviate:

obviate: remove (a need or difficulty).

  • The presence of roller blinds obviated the need for curtains.


But eliminate would be my choice, neither over- nor under-formal:

eliminate [verb] [formal]

To eliminate something, especially something you do not want or need, means to remove it completely.

[Collins Cobuild]

Creating a spare disk will eliminate the need for more disk space.

  • 2
    I would use "eliminate" if only because I'd probably have to explain to anyone I was talking to what "obviate" meant. "Remove" or even "get rid of" would probably be my go-to when speaking naturally, though. Jun 2 at 4:36
  • 4
    It’s a shame obviate isn’t better-known. It’s a very good word that’s difficult to use. Here, for instance, it would be the far more appropriate choice if you could rely on the audience knowing it. But you generally cannot.
    – KRyan
    Jun 3 at 4:24
  • 1
    "Eliminate" isn't quite right: saying that adding a disk eliminates the need for more disk space doesn't make sense, because the need for data storage still exists (and may even continue to grow) — it's just that the need has been fulfilled. Rather, adding a disk would eliminate the current disk space shortage. Jun 3 at 7:38
  • @200_success Could then use alleviate, or perhaps ameliorate.
    – jxh
    Jun 3 at 15:00
  • Although interesting, the Q is on its way to being closed for "lacks detail/needs clarity". Need I say more? The hackers here are saying that the Q is unclear, and the subject of the sentence does not make much sense. BTW...'obviate' was obvious... Jun 3 at 18:39

Creating a spare disk obviates the need for more disk space.

Merriam Webster

obviate, transitive verb
To anticipate and prevent (something, such as a situation) or make (an action) unnecessary
The new medical treatment obviates the need for surgery.

The virtue of obviate is that it not only does away with a possible need but anticipates the need and avoids it.

  • Does obviate still work if the need already exists (ie too late for anticipation/prevention) and the context is finding a solution for that need?
    – mcalex
    Jun 2 at 3:19
  • @mcalex I think so ... although a google search for "obviates the current need" yields only 14 hits ;-). But such use doesn't sound wrong or unusual to me. Like "installing a self-lubricating bearing would obviate the [need for] annual maintenance" or such. Jun 4 at 11:55


remove verb [ T ] UK /rɪˈmuːv/ US /rɪˈmuːv/ (TAKE AWAY)

B1 to take something or someone away from somewhere, or off something:

Creating a spare disk will remove the need for more disk space

cambridge dictionary

  • 2
    Is there a better word for remove the need?
    – variable
    Jun 1 at 12:51
  • @variable that is completely changing the question, if that is what you want please edit your question
    – WendyG
    Jun 1 at 13:48

Resolve. Oxford English Dictionary, "resolve, v.", 17.a.(a):

transitive. To answer (a question); to solve (a problem of any kind); to determine, settle, or decide upon (a point or matter regarding which there is doubt or dispute).

Since the action in the subject ("creating a spare disk") will resolve the situation in the object ("the need for more disk space"), no other action will need to be taken.


As someone that's been working in the industry for a very long time, "Creating a spare disk will eliminate the need for more disk space" sounds weird. It works in some circumstances, but those are quite limited.

It sounds like a user needs to make a choice between two installation procedures requiring different amounts of disk space. If so, I wouldn't use a sentence of the form you presented. I would say

Creating a spare disk will reduce the amount of disk space needed.

If it's disk space that's already being used that would no longer be used, I would say

Creating a spare disk will free some disk space.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.