desideratum

noun de·sid·er·a·tum \ di-ˌsi-də-ˈrä-təm , -ˌzi- , -ˈrā- \

Definition of desideratum

plural desiderata play \-tə\
: something desired as essential
  • detached individuality does not seem to be a desideratum of the Vedantic mind
  • —Robert Bierstedt

desideratum was our Word of the Day on 06/26/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of desideratum in a Sentence

  1. a list of political desiderata

Recent Examples of desideratum from the Web

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

Did You Know?

We'd like to introduce you to some close cousins of "desire." All trace their roots to the Latin sider-, meaning "heavenly body." Desiderare, meaning "to long for," was born when Latin de- was prefixed to "sider-." "Desiderare" begat Anglo-French desirer, which in turn brought forth English "desire," "desirous," and "desirable" in the 13th and 14th centuries. But many years later, in the 17th century, English acquired "desideration" ("longing"), "desiderate" ("to wish for"), and finally "desideratum," all of which can lay claim to direct ancestry from "desiderare."

Origin and Etymology of desideratum

Latin, neuter of desideratus — see desiderate


DESIDERATUM Defined for English Language Learners

desideratum

noun

Definition of desideratum for English Language Learners

  • : something that is needed or wanted


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sticky or viscid

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!