desire

verb
de·​sire | \ di-ˈzī(-ə)r How to pronounce desire (audio) , dē-\
desired; desiring

Definition of desire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for desire success knew that men still desired her
2a : to express a wish for : request they desire an immediate answer
b archaic : to express a wish to : ask desired them to reconsider
3 obsolete : invite
4 archaic : to feel the loss of

intransitive verb

: to have or feel desire They may come if they so desire.

desire

noun

Definition of desire (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : conscious impulse (see impulse entry 2 sense 3) toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment ridding oneself of all desires how humans process desire
2a : longing, craving teenagers' desire for independence … the inexpensive homebuilt craft that satisfy many people's desire to fly— James Fallows
b : sexual urge or appetite
3 : something longed or hoped for : something desired You are my heart's desire.
4 : a usually formal request or petition for some action at the desire of one fifth of those presentU.S. Constitution

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Choose the Right Synonym for desire

Verb

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

Verb

desire, wish, and crave mean to want something very much. desire is used when a person has a great feeling for and actually strives to get what is wanted. The immigrants desired a better life. wish is used when a person wants something that he or she has little or no chance of getting. He foolishly sat around and wished for wealth. crave is used for the force of physical or mental needs. The hungry dogs craved food.

Examples of desire in a Sentence

Verb

He desired her approval more than anything. The apartment has modern amenities, a great location—everything you could desire. She knew that men still desired her.

Noun

Desire is a common theme is music and literature. The magazine tries to attend to the needs and desires of its readers. Both sides feel a real desire for peace. His decisions are guided by his desire for land. They expressed a desire to go with us. They have a desire to have children. a strong desire to travel around the world He was overcome with desire for her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If desired, donations can be made in her name to St. Mary's Church in East Hartford, CT. courant.com, "Gladys M. Veillette," 5 Sep. 2019 Spray adhesive on backs of leaves and ferns; position them as desired on pumpkin. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Stylish Pumpkin," 5 Sep. 2019 It was created for musicians that desire a smaller chamber orchestra experience and specializes in music of the Baroque and Classical period. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Poway Symphonette seeking string players," 4 Sep. 2019 The suspect came back a second time, and the manager desires prosecution. Jake Richardson, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of Sept. 6," 29 Aug. 2019 Serve four of the baked potatoes dressed as desired. ExpressNews.com, "Sunday Recipe: Roast Chicken Supper," 28 Aug. 2019 Recognizing the West Valley’s robust skilled talent pool desiring to work closer to home, developers are constructing more than two million square feet of new spec industrial space, set to come online throughout 2020. Pier Simeri, azcentral, "Destination Avondale: City hot spots continue to gain traction," 28 Aug. 2019 For students desiring a four-year degree, UNT-Dallas extended that tuition-free path for students who had made it through community college. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "‘It allows us to dream big:’ The fastest-growing college in Texas fills a gap by focusing on homegrown students," 26 Aug. 2019 Caldara surely knows that a significant majority of the American people desire universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole and stopping the manufacture and sale of — yes — those weapons of war. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: It’s not the scooters, it’s the lack of safety (8/25/19)," 25 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The mothers found in McClellan-Wiese an ally, a protector, someone to lean on who knew deep down their loss and shared their unrequited desire to see Jones convicted and imprisoned for life. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "Moms keep up fight despite loss of ally," 9 Sep. 2019 Our desire was to make inclusion of our curriculum into the classroom setting as easy as possible for Texas teachers. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Katy-area moms spotlight problem of human trafficking," 8 Sep. 2019 The vines themselves, leafy and tendrilled — sometimes called dragon whiskers —are the object of desire, fronting the central table and piled high near the vendor’s scales. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Farmers Market Guide: A small forest of organic Asian greens," 7 Sep. 2019 However, their citizens’ desire to get out is increasingly common. The Economist, "Nearly a third of Latin Americans want to emigrate," 7 Sep. 2019 Should the desire of parents to have a child genetically descended from them matter? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Reproductive malfeasance enabled by technology, new book says," 6 Sep. 2019 The photographs taken just a few months before her death propelled her desire to create a global mine ban into the spotlight. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Will Honor Princess Diana's Humanitarian Legacy on a "Particularly Significant" Visit to Angola," 6 Sep. 2019 Adding to the complicated logistics was the desire to get all the Brady kids together for the project — never a sure bet. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "‘A Very Brady Renovation’: A groovy kind of makeover show," 5 Sep. 2019 Since the earliest days of television, homes on the small screen—from the suburban ranch with its white picket fence to the loft with its views of the city skyline—have shaped our reality and our desires. Joanna Scutts, Curbed, "The shows we’ve lived by," 14 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of desire

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for desire

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French desirer, from Latin desiderare, from de- + sider-, sidus heavenly body

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More Definitions for desire

desire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of desire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal : to want or wish for (something) : to feel desire for (something)
: to want to have sex with (someone)
formal : to express a wish for (something)

desire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of desire (Entry 2 of 2)

: the feeling of wanting something
: a strong wish : a wish for something or to do something
: a feeling of wanting to have sex with someone

desire

verb
de·​sire | \ di-ˈzīr How to pronounce desire (audio) \
desired; desiring

Kids Definition of desire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to long for : wish for in earnest Both sides desire peace.
2 : to express a wish for : request The council desires an immediate response.

desire

noun

Kids Definition of desire (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a strong wish : longing a desire for companionship
2 : something longed for It was his heart's desire to return home.
de·​sire
desired; desiring

Legal Definition of desire

: to wish for earnestly — see also precatory

Note: Courts have variously interpreted desire in wills to indicate either a direction of the testator that must be followed or merely an expression of what the testator hoped would happen.

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More from Merriam-Webster on desire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for desire

Spanish Central: Translation of desire

Nglish: Translation of desire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of desire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about desire

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