from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To wish or long for; want.
  • transitive verb To want to have sex with (another person).
  • transitive verb To express a wish for; request.
  • noun The feeling of wanting to have something or wishing that something will happen.
  • noun An instance of this feeling.
  • noun Sexual appetite; passion.
  • noun An object of such feeling or passion.
  • noun Archaic A request or petition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To wish or long for; be solicitous for; have a wish for the possession, enjoyment, or being of; crave or covet: as, to desire another's happiness; to desire the good of the common wealth; to desire wealth or fame.
  • To express a wish to obtain; ask; request; pray for.
  • To invite.
  • To require; claim; call for.
  • To long for, as some lost object; regret; miss.
  • Synonyms To crave, want, hanker after, yearn for.
  • To beg. solicit, entreat.
  • To be in a state of desire or longing.
  • noun An emotion directed to the attainment or possession of an object from which pleasure, whether sensual, intellectual, or spiritual, is expected; a passion consisting in uneasiness for want of the object toward which it is directed, and the impulse to attain or possess it; in the widest sense, a state or condition of wishing.
  • noun A craving or longing; yearning, as of affection; longing inclination toward something.
  • noun Appetency; sensual or natural tendency.
  • noun A prayer; petition; request.
  • noun The object of longing; that which is wished for.
  • noun Synonyms to Inclination, appetency, hankering, craving, eagerness, aspiration. See wish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy.
  • noun An expressed wish; a request; petition.
  • noun Anything which is desired; an object of longing.
  • noun Excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite.
  • noun obsolete Grief; regret.
  • transitive verb To long for; to wish for earnestly; to covet.
  • transitive verb To express a wish for; to entreat; to request.
  • transitive verb obsolete To require; to demand; to claim.
  • transitive verb obsolete To miss; to regret.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb More formal or stronger word for want.
  • verb To put a request to (someone); to entreat.
  • verb Another word for want, connoting emotion.
  • noun Someone or something wished for.
  • noun uncountable Strong attraction, particularly romantic or sexual.
  • noun uncountable The feeling of desire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something that is desired
  • noun an inclination to want things
  • verb expect and wish
  • verb express a desire for
  • verb feel or have a desire for; want strongly
  • noun the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre, to observe or feel the absence of, miss, desire : dē-, de- + , -sīderāre (as in cōnsīderāre, to observe attentively, contemplate; see consider).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English desiren, from Old French desir(r)er, from Latin desidero ("to long for, desire, feel the want of, miss, regret"), apparently from de- + sidus (in the phrase de sidere, "from the stars") in connection with astrological hopes. Compare consider. Compare also desiderate.


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  • B.C. See Vincent Smith, _Oxford History of India_, p. 52.] [Footnote 9: This is sometimes rendered simply by desire but _desire_ in

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  • So the fact of variability of desire is not on its own enough to cast doubt on the natural law universal goods thesis: as the good is not defined fundamentally by reference to desire, the fact of variation in desire is not enough to raise questions about universal goods.

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  • The word desire has a wonderful derivation: It comes from the Latin de sidere, which means literally “from the stars.”

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  • The word desire has a wonderful derivation: It comes from the Latin de sidere, which means literally “from the stars.”

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  • Further, between appetite and desire there is no difference, except that the term desire is generally applied to men, in so far as they are conscious of their appetite, and may accordingly be thus defined: Desire is appetite with consciousness thereof.

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  • In a chapter on city planning, Hendren distinguishes between official routes and “desire lines,” which are informal paths worn by wayward feet.

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  • Urban planners call these “desire paths,” well-worn ribbons of foot traffic in the terrain that are “a consequence of the usage of the shortest route to a destination.”

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