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

  • n. Appetence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Strong desire; craving; powerful instinct.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fixed and strong desire; esp. natural desire; a craving; an eager appetite.
  • n. Specifically: An instinctive inclination or propensity in animals to perform certain actions, as in the young to suck, in aquatic fowls to enter into water and to swim; the tendency of an organized body to seek what satisfies the wants of its organism.
  • n. Natural tendency; affinity; attraction; -- used of inanimate objects.

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

  • n. a feeling of craving something


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

Latin appetentia; see appetence.


  • It is that sense of life-preserving and life-enhancing appetency which is the conscious accompaniment of struggle.

    The Approach to Philosophy

  • I must further observe that to say the palæotherium has graduated into equus by "natural selection" is an explanation of the process of the same kind and value as that by which the secretion of bile was attributed to the "appetency" of the liver for the elements of bile.

    The World's Greatest Books — Volume 15 — Science

  • "There is also a further use," says Paley, "to be made of this present example, and that is as it precisely contradicts the opinion, that the parts of animals may have been all formed by what is called appetency,

    Evolution, Old & New Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin

  • "appetency" of the liver, it was said, was for the elements of bile, and "biliosity," or the "hepatic sensation," guided the gland to their secretion.

    Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3) An Exposition of the Darwinian Theory and a Discussion of Post-Darwinian Questions

  • Perhaps "need" is too strong of a word; perhaps I'm looking for something like "hankering for" or "appetency".

    October 2008

  • At the milder end of the continuum of perceptual change, Poe gave a fictional account of moods “of the keenest appetency”:

    Touched with Fire

  • For some months I had been ill in health, but was now convalescent, and, with returning strength, found myself in one of those happy moods which are so precisely the converse of ennui—moods of the keenest appetency, when the film from the mental vision departs … and the intellect, electrified, surpasses as greatly its everyday condition, as does the vivid yet candid reason of Leibnitz, the mad and flimsy rhetoric of Gorgias.

    Touched with Fire

  • The maternal instinct had awakened all its fierceness, and as the blood commenced to flow in streams from the deep scratches and bites inflicted by its teeth and claws, its ferocious appetency redoubled.

    Woman on the American Frontier

  • A long cigarette holder between her thin lips, one putty-colored lisle stocking showing to the knee, she exhaled, together with an odor of Florentine orris-root, a ruthless vigor and appetency for pleasure.


  • Here he yields nothing, as he owes nothing, to that appetency which binds him to the natural world.

    The Approach to Philosophy


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  • If a boob should protrude ‘accidentally’

    She cannot help what he happens to see.

    I’ll give you few clues

    As to what then ensues

    But mention in passing his appetency.

    December 27, 2018