\ˈləst \

Definition of lust 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete

a : pleasure, delight

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

Venus is partly about how lust can inspire masterpieces. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream Venus, the breakthrough film for Doctor Who’s Thirteenth Doctor," 5 Oct. 2018 But this wasn’t my experience with Roth, even as his narrators often perceived women primarily as objects of lust. Emily Gould, The Cut, "The Shocking Thing About Teaching Roth to College Kids," 24 May 2018 Meanwhile, Angela is carrying on with protuberant tennis pro Tony Parker (Andrew Carter), who becomes the object of lust to both Edith and Angela's gay son, Lance (Tom DeTrinis). F. Kathleen Foley,, "Lust, secrets, murder: Dive into the drag-rific world of 'Die, Mommy, Die!'," 17 May 2018 Then ordinary folk can be freed from the lust for fame that would rob them of their true selves. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "All Followers Are Fake Followers," 30 Jan. 2018 Florida designer Dana Small gave House Beautiful all the details about her completely lust-worthy summer home in Ludington, Michigan. Heidi Mitchell, House Beautiful, "This Lake Michigan House Was Built With Summertime In Mind," 16 Aug. 2018 But as Airbnb prepares to go public, the stakes are high and the blood-lust is growing. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "The Airbnb Challenger You've Never Heard of (by Name)," 2 July 2018 Roth’s novels were often narratives of lust, mortality, fate and Jewish assimilation. Washington Post, "Philip Roth: a generation’s defining voice," 23 May 2018 Shirley Manson: To hear a woman talk about lust is so unusual. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Patti Smith on 'Because The Night' at 40: How Her Bruce Springsteen Collaboration Is 'A Whole Life in A Song'," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Some are perhaps yet to witness theirs, while some are probably lusting over the memories of theirs playing from many years ago., "World Cup Countdown: 3 Weeks to Go - Ranking the Best 'Golden Generations' at the 2006 Tournament," 4 June 2018 Displaced Puerto Ricans have become the face of a voting bloc politicians are lusting over. Bianca Padró Ocasio,, "These Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane María's destruction built a community at a Super 8 in Kissimmee. Now, they have to leave it.," 27 June 2018 Stansell is one of those rare performers who does make country music videos showing two men lusting after each other (alongside an impressive rainbow dust cloud)., "How Country Music Became A Safe(r) Space For LGBTQ+ Artists," 8 June 2018 The documents had transcripts of conversations between Sherman and an unidentified blogger that showed the two explicitly lusting after the young girls depicted in the images and videos. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Former middle school teacher facing child pornography charges," 22 June 2018 Considering how the Orioles and their fans lusted over Houston Astros pitching prospect Forrest Whitley last year during the Zach Britton saga, such comparisons should be welcome. Jon Meoli,, "Get to know 2018 Orioles draft picks Grayson Rodriguez, Cadyn Grenier," 5 June 2018 Thus this highly readable chronicle comprises vaulting ambition, familial betrayal, moral corruption, high politics, foul murder and a beautiful queen lusting for revenge. Andrew Roberts, WSJ, "‘Richard III’ Review: The Villain Wore a Crown," 30 Apr. 2018 This week, a new-to-NYC humanitarian worker lusting after a younger guy and bored by a preppy one: 37, straight, single, Upper East Side. The Cut, "The Humanitarian Worker Contemplating Group Sex," 6 May 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


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


see lust entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near lust






luster blue


Statistics for lust

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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 \

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 make faulty or ineffective

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