\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Additionally, series star and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge took home the prize for Individual Achievement In Comedy for her nimble performance as the titular vagabond lost in a swirling sea of frustration, confusion, and lust in London. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "Top TV shows? Critics honor ‘Fleabag,’ ‘Chernobyl,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ and more," 3 Aug. 2019 Indeed, a vein of fear runs through Ellmann’s collector’s lust—that, even if one puts the world in a book, the story might remain incomplete. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Can One Sentence Capture All of Life?," 6 Sep. 2019 There’s an element of risqué, there’s an element of desire and lust and also a little space there. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Brooks Laich Says Julianne Hough 'Really Enjoys It' When He Sucks on Her Toes: 'We Play Around'," 5 Aug. 2019 Wave envy, travel lust and gourmet gluttony were proud sins of my slothful youth. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019 The crop of lust-worthy accessories is ushering in a new era of Bottega Veneta under the reins of Daniel Lee, who was appointed the brand's creative director last year. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Fashion Insiders Are Obsessed with New Bottega," 31 July 2019 The boy dies of typhoid, but his spectre and his lust for petty larceny remain with Lurie. Francisco Cantú, The New Yorker, "Téa Obreht Reimagines the Western," 12 Aug. 2019 Conquests in Mexico by Hernan Cortés in 1521 and in Peru by Francisco Pizarro between 1531 and 1534 had also produced an insatiable lust for gold that fueled the treasure hunt in the New World. al, "Slaves arrived in America, and Alabama, years before 1619," 23 Aug. 2019 Claude’s pining for the voluptuous Sabine is projected in a globally lust-inducing clip of her bathing on a Manhattan rooftop. Alexander C. Kafka, Washington Post, "An irresistible tale of early cinema makes for perfect summer reading," 8 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Holt has only three home runs at a point in the game’s history where teams lust for power. Peter Abraham,, "Brock Holt knows there are no guarantees beyond this season," 26 Aug. 2019 First presented in 1882, the tiny trophy has become one of the most lusted after trophies in sporting history, lighting fire in the hearts of each player who has taken part in an Ashes series. James Masters, CNN, "The Ashes: Sledging and the bitter fight for iconic minuscule trophy," 31 July 2019 The gang's leader lusts after her and is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his having her. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Megaplex: Here are the Houston arthouse movies showing Aug. 9-15," 8 Aug. 2019 Luckily for me, there were lots of fashion fits to lust after. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "From Kylie Jenner to Kiernan Shipka, Here's The Best Celebrity Style You Missed This Weekend," 17 June 2019 The following day, Cyrus still lusted over her man and showed him off in her Instagram Story. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Miley Cyrus Is "Freakishly Obsessed" with Liam Hemsworth and So Are We TBH," 26 Apr. 2019 Similarly, the girls in Derry Girls don’t let restrictive nuns or bomb threats keep them from swearing, fighting, and lusting after boys. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Why Netflix’s Derry Girls is the perfect show to stream this weekend," 2 Aug. 2019 Hillary Clinton had the power to kill, and occasionally lusted in it. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Desire for Fake News Lives in All of Us," 11 July 2019 But that didn’t stop Fleabag (and viewers) from lusting after Scott’s character of The Hot Priest in Fleabag. Rachel Paige,, "Why The Actor From Black Mirror's "Smithereens" Seems So, So Familiar," 7 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for lust

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for lust

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

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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.

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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

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a calculated move

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