Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or property of being wistful.

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

  • noun The state or characteristic of being wistful.

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

  • noun a sadly pensive longing

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

wistful +‎ -ness

Examples

  • We are in the realm not of logic but of wistfulness, and I must maintain that wistfulness is a respectable, serious condition.

    Joseph O’Neill on Wistfulness and ‘we’re-all-going-to-die Sex

  • We are in the realm not of logic but of wistfulness, and I must maintain that wistfulness is a respectable, serious condition.

    2009 January 08 | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • He was several years younger than his partner, not more than twenty-six, and there was a certain wistfulness in his face that comes into the faces of men when they yearn vainly for the things they have been long denied.

    THE FAITH OF MEN

  • This wistfulness is charming but self-deceptive: Schlesinger might have written not just more books but better ones (as we know from the quality of The Age of Jackson and The Disuniting of America) if he had not squandered so much time and energy being a compulsive socialite and an insecure valet du pouvoir.

    The Courtier

  • This wistfulness is charming but self-deceptive: Schlesinger might have written not just more books but better ones (as we know from the quality of The Age of Jackson and The Disuniting of America) if he had not squandered so much time and energy being a compulsive socialite and an insecure valet du pouvoir.

    The Courtier

  • Caril Ann in particular, with her extraordinary diction and painful wistfulness, is a marvel of a character.

    Reader reviews of Outside Valentine by Liza Ward.

  • I want to know if no else has understood that all this wistfulness is due to the fact that the whole island is a butterfly that longs for its wings.

    The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

  • He was several years younger than his partner, not more than twenty-six, and there was a certain wistfulness in his face that comes into the faces of men when they yearn vainly for the things they have been long denied.

    The Faith of Men

  • Such a habit may be described as wistfulness of mind, the feeling that there is "so much to [251] know," rather as a longing after what is unattainable, than as a hope to apprehend.

    Miscellaneous Studies; a series of essays

  • He let her go, then worked at convincing himself that what he saw in her eyes in that brief moment was simply the same kind of wistfulness he was feeling.

    Risk No Secrets

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