longing

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

Definition of longing

: a strong desire especially for something unattainable : craving

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Though the song is a narrative about the overpowering emotions of longing and nostalgia, the track's infectious melody layered over its relaxed beat guarantees an instant addition to your end-of-summer playlist. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dua Lipa, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Tainy Release Sexy, Late-Summer Smash "Un Día"," 24 July 2020 The crippling fear of exposure lives uneasily alongside its opposite—a primal longing to be seen. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Where ‘Strangers Whisper Secrets in Your Ear’," 10 Aug. 2020 The fight for the yellow jersey leaves some longing to reclaim a victorious past, while others push forward to create new meaning for the iconic symbol. Jaide Timm-garcia, CNN, "How a yellow jersey is dividing Brazil," 6 Aug. 2020 With each death, a sentimental longing is stirred in a political class raised in their shadow, a wistful affection for a past that did not quite exist. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "Embracing the Compromises of Political Giants," 3 Aug. 2020 To compound matters, Ball’s prose is relentlessly truncated: short declarative sentences that leave the reader longing for a subordinate clause, a compound sentence, or even a dangling participle. David Holahan, USA TODAY, "'Life of a Klansman' review: Edward Ball confronts the bad (racist) apples in his Family Tree," 2 Aug. 2020 Plenty of people with a longing for a bygone age are either coming from a privileged past or ignoring the suffering of others, and nostalgia can be a damaging tool in the hands of various political parties. National Geographic, "Nostalgia can cheer you up," 22 July 2020 And the way the show was written, it’s about looking back with some longing. James Hibberd, EW.com, "The Wonder Years being rebooted with a Black family by ABC," 8 July 2020 Fueled by nostalgia and longing for a simpler time, hardware tinkerers are injecting new life into the iconic handheld game console. Brendan Nystedt, Wired, "Retro Hackers Are Building a Better Nintendo Game Boy," 10 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of longing

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about longing

Time Traveler for longing

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for longing

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Longing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/longing. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for longing

longing

noun
How to pronounce longing (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!