longing

noun
long·​ing | \ ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce longing (audio) \

Definition of longing

: a strong desire especially for something unattainable : craving

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Other Words from longing

longingly \ ˈlȯŋ-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce longingly (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Perry was our first big celebrity crush (or frequently tied with one of the New Kids on the Block; in my case, Donnie); our first tingle of longing. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Remembering Luke Perry, the Poster Boy of '90s Studs," 4 Mar. 2019 For generations of Americans, the brick-like Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog was a fixture in just about every house — a miscellany of toys and clothes and furnishings and hardware that induced longing for this or that dream purchase. Allen G. Breed, The Seattle Times, "Girdles and socket wrenches: Sears was the Amazon of its day," 16 Oct. 2018 Yet this development doesn't register as truly provocative, since Haneke has already explored the longing for death more disturbingly (in Benny’s Video) and more poignantly (in Amour). Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is treading water in Happy End," 13 Mar. 2018 The longing to recreate this feeling drove him to experiment and replicate the dish all the way in Houston. Ilaf Esuf, SELF, "How 10 People Cook the Foods They Grew Up With After Immigrating to the United States," 4 Jan. 2019 That’s what the longing looks like for a show that, like Big Little Lies, is based on a bestselling murder mystery, with A-list talent. Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "'Sharp Objects' with Amy Adams isn't another 'Big Little Lies' (and it shouldn't have to be)," 5 July 2018 The stories, centered on wayward men and women in Montana, infuse the traditional representation of the American West with a sense of longing and loneliness that feels wholly contemporary. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Year in the Life of a Short Story," 28 Dec. 2018 Much of the film is devoted to longing looks and quiet moments of reflection. Jenna Marotta, Vogue, "Brian Tyree Henry Still Roots for the Underdog," 23 Nov. 2018 Chella Man: My gender dysphoria ignites an intense longing for my body to appear more stereotypically masculine. Chella Man, Teen Vogue, "What It’s Like to Be Trans and Live With Gender Dysphoria," 21 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'longing.' 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 longing

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for longing

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for longing

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

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More Definitions for longing

longing

noun

English Language Learners Definition of longing

: a strong desire for something or someone

longing

noun
long·​ing | \ ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce longing (audio) \

Kids Definition of longing

: a very strong desire

Other Words from longing

longingly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on longing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for longing

Spanish Central: Translation of longing

Nglish: Translation of longing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of longing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on longing

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