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verb \ˈwish\

Simple Definition of wish

  • : to want (something) to be true or to happen

  • : to want or ask to do (something)

  • : to want (someone) to be in a particular state

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wish

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to have a desire for (as something unattainable) <wished he could live his life over>

  3. 2 :  to give expression to as a wish :  bid <wish them good night>

  4. 3 a :  to give form to (a wish) b :  to express a wish for c :  to request in the form of a wish :  order d :  to desire (a person or thing) to be as specified <cannot wish our problems away>

  5. 4 :  to confer (something unwanted) on someone :  foist

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to have a desire :  want <wishing for more>

  8. 2 :  to make a wish <wish on a falling star>

wisher noun

Examples of wish in a sentence

  1. You may use the telephone, if you wish.

  2. She wished them a happy New Year.

  3. We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Origin of wish

Middle English wisshen, from Old English wȳscan; akin to Old High German wunsken to wish, Sanskrit vāñchati he wishes, vanoti he strives for — more at win

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of wish

desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean to have a longing for. desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim <desires to start a new life>. wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable <wishes for permanent world peace>. want specifically suggests a felt need or lack <wants to have a family>. crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need <craves sweets>. covet implies strong envious desire <covets his rise to fame>.

Rhymes with wish




Simple Definition of wish

  • : a desire for something to happen or be done : a feeling of wanting to do or have something

  • : an act of thinking about something that you want and hoping that you will get it or that it will happen in some magical way

  • wishes : good thoughts or feelings directed toward a person

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wish

  1. 1 a :  an act or instance of wishing or desire :  want <a wish to travel> b :  an object of desire :  goal

  2. 2 a :  an expressed will or desire :  mandate b :  a request or command couched as a wish

  3. 3 :  an invocation of good or evil fortune on someone

Examples of wish in a sentence

  1. He has a wish to be reunited with his son.

  2. The genie will grant you three wishes.

  3. Send her my good wishes.

14th Century

First Known Use of wish

14th century

WISH Defined for Kids



verb \ˈwish\

Definition of wish for Students


  1. 1 :  to have a desire for :  want <I wish you were here.>

  2. 2 :  to form or express a desire concerning <He wished them both good luck.>

  3. 3 :  to request by expressing a desire <I wish you to go now.>




Definition of wish for Students

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of having or expressing a desire usually in the mind <Close your eyes and make a wish.>

  2. 2 :  something wanted <I got my wish.>

  3. 3 :  a desire for happiness or luck <Send them my best wishes.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


immature or lacking adult sophistication

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