You've probably dealt with an exigence (or exigency) at one time or another. It means (1) urgency, (2) an emergency or crisis, (3) the demands or needs of a certain situation. The root is the Latin verb exigere (to drive out or expel, finish). Have a look at examples of the three usages: In The Age of Innocence, Mrs. Welland tries to balance her time between her husband and her daughter May: Another of her principles was that parents should never (at least visibly) interfere with the plans of their married children; and the difficulty of adjusting this respect for May's independence with the exigency of Mr. Welland's claims could be overcome only by . . . ingenuity . . . In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Bennet solicits her uncle's help in searching for her youngest sister, who has run away with an older man: " . . . circumstances are such that I cannot help earnestly begging you all to come here as soon as possible. . . . In such an exigence, my uncle's advice and assistance would be everything in the world." The Scarlet Letter has an example of the third usage: For, though bred a lawyer, . . . the exigencies of this new country had transformed Governor Bellingham into a soldier, as well as a statesman and ruler.