1 of 2


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


2 of 2


lusted; lusting; lusts

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Noun He was consumed by lust. He was driven by a lust for power. Lust for chocolate drew her into the candy store.
Recent Examples on the Web
She was held captive in a dungeon of lust hidden on a vast estate where there were instruments molded from a Poe story, in which a device meant a tool worked by hand to break the halos of medieval lambs. Sasha Frere-jones, Harper’s Magazine , 9 Nov. 2022 The departures and interweaving viewpoints read like musicians trading solos: There is the rhythm section of neighbors and gossip, the strings of Black womanhood, the seductive croon of lust, the horns speaking Violet’s heart. Morgan Parker, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2022 Down at the toe of Italy’s boot, lust hangs in the air. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 31 Oct. 2022 Critics are not incorrect to see in Monroe pliability, openness, lust. Sophie Lewis, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 The affair is pure lust, and Unfaithful isn't even a proper thriller until the 70-minute mark. Darren Franich,, 10 May 2022 One result was a lust to discover the source of that mythic body of water. Howard Schneider, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Indeed, love—or, at the very least, lust—is more common on long trails than guidebooks or the Guthook app comments section might lead you to believe. Outside Online, 13 Feb. 2021 Also because lust is a notoriously unreliable life strategy. Anna Pulley, Chicago Tribune, 6 Oct. 2022
Or Andrey Rublev, a 25-year-old Russian with a forehand that so many pros lust after. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 18 Nov. 2022 Skiers and riders lust after testing the latest technology, and shops are keeping up with customer demand by offering a wide selection of high-quality performance skis. Carolyn Webber, Outside Online, 13 Feb. 2019 In 1953, Newman and Woodward were young actors on Broadway who fell passionately in love and lust with each other. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 20 July 2022 Panerai fans are bound to lust after the watch for its three years-in-the-making skeletonized automatic movement, the brand’s first-ever. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 31 Dec. 2021 To be fair, everybody in the family seems to lust for Patrizia. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 11 Dec. 2021 The league bosses, who lust for new stadiums, would have objected, leaned on the Yorks to build a new one ASAP. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Nov. 2021 Fantasies of love or lust open her up to violent visions of volcanoes, unrest and a hail of bullets, but all these disasters are outstripped by her longing. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 Now cool-hunter kids lust after Jordan sneakers and Jean Prouvé No. 305 chairs. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


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


12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near lust

Cite this Entry

“Lust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: sexual desire especially if strong or uncontrolled
: a strong longing : craving


2 of 2 verb
: to have a strong desire : crave
especially : to have a strong sexual desire

More from Merriam-Webster on lust

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