Definitions

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

Etymologies

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.

Examples

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