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

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 The multicolored top and trousers, with trippy waves of red, orange, and blue, had one longing for summer in the dead of winter. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This Is How Beyoncé Borrows From the Boys," 1 Feb. 2019 Having friends and loved ones in faraway places means scheduling phone calls, missing the little details, and longing for the other person. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Lamp Was Designed To Keep Your Long-Distance Relationship Alive," 29 Nov. 2018 Those longing for the timeless elegance of Old World Europe need look no further than the Fairmont Hotel. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Hotels in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 That’s good news fort those longing for retro PlayStation feels and some good old fashioned Square role-playing games. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Sony is launching a PlayStation Classic console this December loaded with 20 games," 19 Sep. 2018 The participant is invited to feel regret, longing, or fear as the story dictates. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Chained mixes virtual reality and live actors to tell a dark Christmas tale," 5 Dec. 2018 The longing will be external and the presence will no longer be felt, but the memories of the good moments lived are great comfort,that will remain forever with us. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Concetta Lombardo," 26 Apr. 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

5 Mar 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



English Language Learners Definition of longing

: a strong desire for something or someone


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

What made you want to look up longing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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