de·​sir·​able | \ di-ˈzī-rə-bəl How to pronounce desirable (audio) \

Definition of desirable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having pleasing qualities or properties : attractive "Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner."— Jane Austen a house in a highly desirable location
2 : worth seeking or doing as advantageous, beneficial, or wise : advisable desirable legislation



Definition of desirable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person or thing that merits or attracts favorable attention and consideration : one that is desirable

Other Words from desirable


desirableness noun
desirably \ di-​ˈzī-​rə-​blē How to pronounce desirable (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for desirable

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of desirable in a Sentence

Adjective The house is in a highly desirable location. The new stove has many desirable features. the qualities that make a desirable business partner The experiment did not achieve a desirable result. a beautiful and desirable woman
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Everyone has certain foods that just don’t sit right with them, or that cause not-so-desirable symptoms like indigestion, painful bloating, or cramping. Claire Gillespie, SELF, 5 Jan. 2022 This particularly appeals to younger buyers, the most desirable, but unreachable clients. Stephan Rabimov, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 The Rolls-Royce Cullinan does not leave much room for improvement, but one German tuner may have found a way to make the six-figure luxury SUV even more desirable (and expensive). Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 12 Oct. 2021 Photographs that juxtaposed the mundane and the exotic could transform an ordinary object into something desirable — and salable., 19 Aug. 2021 That option may not be possible or desirable for others. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2021 Even after posting an 18-25 record that is the worst four-year stretch for any UCLA coach, Kelly is considered desirable because of his ability to construct offenses that are among the most prolific in the nation. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2021 The deal comes with some highly desirable Napa real estate for Treasury: the historic Frank Family tasting room in Calistoga, another vineyard in eastern Napa, and the Benjamin Ranch vineyard in Rutherford. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Nov. 2021 With the deal, Monotype acquired the intellectual property rights to the studio’s entire library of typefaces, along with the highly desirable URL, and a team of designers and support staff. Anne Quito, Quartz, 23 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Constitution protects desirables and undesirables alike. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2020 Responses ran the gamut of tangible and intangible desirables, some of which are truly shoot-for-the-stars gifts and at least one that doesn't cost any money at all. Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2019 The undesirables are migrants or refugees, the desirables are expats or cosmopolitans. Ben Huberman, Longreads, 21 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of desirable


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1645, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for desirable


see desire entry 1


see desire entry 1

Learn More About desirable

Time Traveler for desirable

Time Traveler

The first known use of desirable was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near desirable




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for desirable

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desirable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for desirable



English Language Learners Definition of desirable

: having good or pleasing qualities : worth having or getting
: sexually attractive


de·​sir·​able | \ di-ˈzī-rə-bəl How to pronounce desirable (audio) \

Kids Definition of desirable

1 : having pleasing qualities : attractive a desirable location
2 : worth having or seeking "… a good heart is, I believe, much more desirable than education or brains."— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

More from Merriam-Webster on desirable

Nglish: Translation of desirable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of desirable for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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