long·​ing ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce longing (audio)
: a strong desire especially for something unattainable : craving
longingly adverb

Examples of longing in a Sentence

They looked with longing toward freedom. She cast a look of longing at the shop window. She never told anyone about her secret longings.
Recent Examples on the Web Today, many Hong Kongers are looking at their city with a similar longing as the Chinese territory (handed over by the British colonizers in 1997) undergoes a tumultuous political transformation. Tiffany May, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2024 But thanks to leaps in computer graphics, Wingard was able to truly infuse Kong with a deep longing for home and yearning to belong. USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2024 After saving money as an apartment leasing consultant and as an account manager with Lancome, navigating a divorce and selling her house, Cooper’s dream became less of a longing and more of a possibility. Charlotte Observer, 25 Mar. 2024 Hurd, who initially started Bay Ledges in 2015 while living in Los Angeles, has a knack for imbuing his music with palpable longing and tangible energy. Spin Contributor, SPIN, 11 Mar. 2024 The island dramatized every rupture, deepened every longing. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 Thirty-five years after East Germany collapsed, the vanished country continues to inspire in Germans a curious combination of loathing and longing. Katja Hoyer, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Throughout, the band specializes in bright, energetic songs with lyrics pondering the less sunny facets of love, loss, and longing. Tess Growney, SPIN, 15 Feb. 2024 The resulting series of escalating high jinks, which includes the use of blowfish poison, verges on the farcical, but the novel’s major chord is one of rueful longing. The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'longing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of longing was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near longing

Cite this Entry

“Longing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/longing. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


long·​ing ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce longing (audio)
: an eager desire : craving
longingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on longing

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