1

desire

play
verb de·sire \di-ˈzī(-ə)r, dē-\

Definition of desire

desired

;

desiring

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to long or hope for :  exhibit or feel desire for desire success knew that men still desired her

  3. 2a :  to express a wish for :  request they desire an immediate answerb archaic :  to express a wish to :  ask desired them to reconsider

  4. 3 obsolete :  invite

  5. 4 archaic :  to feel the loss of

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to have or feel desire They may come if they so desire.

Examples of desire in a sentence

  1. He desired her approval more than anything.

  2. The apartment has modern amenities, a great location—everything you could desire.

  3. She knew that men still desired her.

Origin and Etymology of desire

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


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of desire

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.

2

desire

noun de·sire

Definition of desire

  1. 1 :  conscious impulse (see 2impulse 3) toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment ridding oneself of all desires how humans process desire

  2. 2a :  longing, craving teenagers' desire for independence … the inexpensive homebuilt craft that satisfy many people's desire to fly — James Fallowsb :  sexual urge or appetite

  3. 3 :  a usually formal request or petition for some action at the desire of one fifth of those present — U.S. Constitution

  4. 4 :  something longed or hoped for :  something desired You are my heart's desire.

Examples of desire in a sentence

  1. Desire is a common theme is music and literature.

  2. The magazine tries to attend to the needs and desires of its readers.

  3. Both sides feel a real desire for peace.

  4. His decisions are guided by his desire for land.

  5. They expressed a desire to go with us.

  6. They have a desire to have children.

  7. a strong desire to travel around the world

  8. He was overcome with desire for her.

Origin and Etymology of desire

see 1desire


First Known Use: 14th century



DESIRE Defined for English Language Learners

1

desire

play
verb de·sire \di-ˈzī(-ə)r, dē-\

Definition of desire for English Language Learners

  • : to want or wish for (something) : to feel desire for (something)

  • : to want to have sex with (someone)

  • : to express a wish for (something)


2

desire

noun de·sire

Definition of desire for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

desire

play
verb de·sire \di-ˈzīr\

Definition of desire for Students

desired

;

desiring

  1. 1 :  to long for :  wish for in earnest Both sides desire peace.

  2. 2 :  to express a wish for :  request The council desires an immediate response.


2

desire

play
noun de·sire

Definition of desire for Students

  1. 1 :  a strong wish :  longing a desire for companionship

  2. 2 :  something longed for It was his heart's desire to return home.


Law Dictionary

desire

transitive verb de·sire

Legal Definition of desire

desired

desiring

  1. :  to wish for earnestly — see also precatory

Additional Notes on desire

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.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up desire? 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

a frightening dream

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!