\ ˈləst How to pronounce lust (audio) \

Definition of lust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete

b : personal inclination : wish
2 : usually intense or unbridled sexual desire : lasciviousness He was motivated more by lust than by love.
3a : an intense longing : craving a lust to succeed
b : enthusiasm, eagerness admired his lust for life


lusted; lusting; lusts

Definition of lust (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to have an intense desire or need : crave specifically : to have a sexual urge

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Examples of lust in a Sentence


He was consumed by lust. He was driven by a lust for power. Lust for chocolate drew her into the candy store.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are still ways to elicit a feeling akin to that pyrotechnic blood lust. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "Can't Set Off Fireworks? Try These Science-Backed Alternatives," 4 July 2019 Like hunger or lust, the appeal of the gifted school goes beyond the rational. Paul Gleason,, "These insufferable parents will do anything to get their kids into 'The Gifted School'," 3 July 2019 Joe moved to a singular soundtrack: the acid lust of the Doors. Tribune News Service,, "The Man in the Window: Is this the childhood of a serial killer? (Part One)," 22 June 2019 The constant replenishment of fresh kicks means us sneaker fans always have something new to lust after and can change up our looks frequently. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "From Converse x OPI to Loewe’s Ballet Runners, These are the Sneakers We’re Eyeing This Week," 20 June 2019 The matter of the pastors’ Sunday best touches on questions of temperance and lust. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Normcore Opulence of Preachers Wearing Four-Figure Sneakers," 14 June 2019 What are sneezing, yawning, hunger, thirst, and lust? Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Why Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance endures, 500 years after his death," 12 June 2019 But their convenience and easy set up has made them a lust-list item for campers everywhere. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best Rooftop Tents for Far-Out (and Closer-to-Home) Adventures," 26 Apr. 2019 Many writers in Paris in the 1930s took aim at our puritanical society and tried to open up ways of telling the truth about men and women and lust. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "The Mind–Body Problem," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Starting at $400—half the original asking price of the Pixel 3—the Pixel 3a (and the 6-inch Pixel 3a XL starting at $480) is an affordable phone worth lusting over. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Google Finally Makes a Phone for the Rest of Us," 7 May 2019 As a lesbian myself, there is much to lust after in Gentleman Jack. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Gentleman Jack Is a Period Drama I’ve Been Waiting My Whole Life to See," 22 Apr. 2019 Particularly worth lusting after this year are selections from Rizzoli, Vendome, Abrams, and Flammarion examining the lavish creations of several distinguished interior designers. Marley Marius, Vogue, "8 of the Most Swoon-Worthy Interior Design Books Arriving This Fall," 22 Aug. 2018 Been lusting over the new Jumbo Blush Compact in Nars' fan-favorite Orgasm shade? Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Sephora’s Early Access Event Is Letting VIB Rouge Members Snag Seriously Exciting New Products," 20 Mar. 2019 While the outfit was fairly understated, Kate also wore a very cool pair of boots which Twitter is lusting hard over. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Chose Skinny Jeans and Cool Chloé Boots for Her First 2019 Royal Engagement," 15 Jan. 2019 Paris Couture Week always offers an array of swoon-worthy gowns to lust over. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Glow-in-the-Dark Heels Are Here to Make Your Childhood Dreams Come True," 22 Jan. 2019 From Ronnie's sequin dress to Josie's sparkly two-piece, there were a whole lot of wardrobe choices worth lusting after at the big event. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Including Jughead's dark suit, which may be hiding a sinister message.," 26 Oct. 2018 Her mission was to capture the scent of a diamond, that deeply lusted-after — and utterly fragrance-free — rock. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Mathilde Laurent Used All of Her Senses to Create a Scent That Smells Like Diamonds," 2 Oct. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lust

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German lust pleasure and perhaps to Latin lascivus wanton

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Learn More about lust

Dictionary Entries near lust






luster blue


Statistics for lust

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lust

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

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More Definitions for lust



English Language Learners Definition of lust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong feeling of sexual desire
: a strong desire for something



English Language Learners Definition of lust (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a strong sexual desire for someone
: to have a strong desire for something


\ ˈləst How to pronounce lust (audio) \

Kids Definition of lust

: a strong longing She has a lust for adventure.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lust

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lust

Spanish Central: Translation of lust

Nglish: Translation of lust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lust for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lust

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


to complain fretfully

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