\ ˈləst How to pronounce lust (audio) \

Definition of lust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of lust in a Sentence

Noun He was consumed by lust. He was driven by a lust for power. Lust for chocolate drew her into the candy store.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The urgency of a full bladder is a fair imitation of lust. Katherine Dunn, The New Yorker, "The Resident Poet," 4 May 2020 This is not to say the Rangers liked Castellanos anywhere near their level of lust for Wheeler or Rendon. Dallas News, "The Rangers’ offseason moves will make them better, but not as aggressively as Jon Daniels once postured," 28 Jan. 2020 Its $2,245 bikes attract the type of lust among exercise junkies that Porsches elicit among car nuts. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Is Peloton a Fitness Fad or a Tech Company? Everything’s Riding on the Answer," 17 Jan. 2020 For starters, love, lust, and intimacy can all trigger the release of feel-good neurotransmitters that help mitigate stress and encourage well-being. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Honestly, You Might Get Ghosted During This Pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 Neuroscientist Jaak Panskepp argues that of seven core instincts nestled in the human brain (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal care, pleasure/lust, play, and seeking), seeking is the most important, and all mammals are similarly wired. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Can Joe Biden attract the Latinx vote?," 6 Mar. 2020 Right now, Mars, the planet of action, lust, and aggression, rests in Sagittarius. Amani Richardson,, "Before Venus Leaves Pisces, Put That Energy Into Your Sex Life," 28 Jan. 2020 Love, lust, grief, terror, and divine punishment trigger a series of startling changes in Ovid’s retelling of 250 stories of gods and mortals. Esteban Berché, National Geographic, "Did Ovid's erotic poetry lead to his exile from Rome?," 26 Nov. 2019 Patient general managers willing to exploit other teams’ lust for a quick fix can build pro-football dynasties. Jon Hartley, National Review, "Trading Down with First-Round Picks Is a Path to NFL-Title Contention," 23 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From practically the beginning of his love affair with computers, Chandra has lusted after a word processor that will keep him from making inadvertent mistakes. Andrew Leonard, Wired, "A Code-Obsessed Novelist Builds a Writing Bot. The Plot Thickens," 6 Feb. 2020 Look for another great read that combines compelling history and the adventures of an action hero––think Charles Bronson in Death Wish–– lusting for revenge. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Book review: ‘Wolf’ is the pre-World War II historical thriller you didn’t know you needed right now," 31 Mar. 2020 This bin comes in three trendy colors and is also great for anyone who is constantly scrapping paper, opening envelopes, or lusting after cute design-y items online all day. Cassidy Olsen, USA TODAY, "20 great gifts your coworkers will actually use," 29 Oct. 2019 Here was the defense Miller had lusted for all winter, a stifling, choking effort that simply allowed nothing easily. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU defense slams door on Northwestern. Is this a turning point for the Hoosiers?," 9 Jan. 2020 The flavor soul of most food ingredients is split into halves that rarely mix: one that thrives in water and one that lusts after fat. Ali Bouzari,, "Housemade: How Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant highlights quality Tequila in its margaritas," 30 Dec. 2019 The Iceland trip sticks with him: How could families and mayors and lawyers and bricklayers all soak together, every night, when his own family was always so busy back at home, lusting after screens, everyone somehow bored and also miserable. Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Times, "Review: What a family learned by ditching their smartphone-addicted lives to roam the world," 31 Aug. 2019 Stevie Scott headlines, but the deepest backfield IU’s had in four years proves the difference in the signature road upset Allen has lusted after for three years. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana football: Best- and worst-case scenario for 2019," 27 Aug. 2019 Their origins lie among nomadic Arab groups, highly skilled equestrians, who, once armed and supported by the Sudanese government, became ruthless strike forces during the conflict in Darfur and, later, freelance bandits lusting after ivory. David Quammen, National Geographic, "To save wildlife, African governments turn to private management," 12 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of lust


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lust

Time Traveler for lust

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lust

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lust


How to pronounce lust (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lust

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!