verb \ ˈkrāv \
Updated on: 13 Jan 2018

Definition of crave

craved; craving
transitive verb
1 : to ask for earnestly : beg, demand
  • crave a pardon for neglect
2 a : to want greatly : need
  • craves drugs
  • craves attention
b : to yearn for
  • crave a vanished youth
intransitive verb
: to have a strong or inward desire
  • craves after affection



Examples of crave in a Sentence

  1. Like many celebrities, he craves attention.

  2. I was craving french fries, so I pulled into the nearest fast-food restaurant.

Recent Examples of crave from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of crave

Middle English, from Old English crafian; akin to Old Norse krefja to crave, demand

crave Synonyms

ache (for), covet, desire, desiderate, die (for), hanker (for or after), hunger (for), itch (for), jones (for) [slang], long (for), lust (for or after), pant (after), pine (for), repine (for), salivate (for), sigh (for), thirst (for), want, wish (for), yearn (for), yen (for)
Related Words
spoil (for); adore, delight (in), dig, enjoy, fancy, groove (on), like, love, relish, revel (in); favor, prefer; admire, appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value
Near Antonyms
abhor, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe; decline, refuse, reject, spurn

Synonym Discussion of crave

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

CRAVE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of crave for English Language Learners

  • : to have a very strong desire for (something)

CRAVE Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈkrāv \

Definition of crave for Students

craved; craving
1 : to want greatly : long for
  • crave chocolate
  • The stray dog craved affection.
2 : to ask for earnestly
  • “Sire, there is a messenger from the enemy who craves audience.”
  • —C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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of, relating to, or resembling a lion

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