\ 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


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

No, lust began with the teen girls on the grassy knoll, lined up as neatly as hot dogs on a grill and flipping to the same timer. Jessica Lee, The New Yorker, "Lust Must Have Struck for the First Time," 26 Aug. 2019 Lust is untoward or exciting or invigorating, but desire is the unnamed thing that exists even when lust is taking a nap. Lea Carpenter, Time, "'Desire Is Always Evolving.' What the 'Three Women' Author Learned After a Decade Following Women's Sex Lives," 19 July 2019 The girl, age maybe 12 or so, falls for the only man who does not lust after her: a prophet, John the Baptist. Celeste Landeros, miamiherald, "In a critical moment, Florida Grand Opera explores a woman’s sexuality | Miami Herald," 23 Jan. 2018 Six easygoing seductions about various shades of love, lust and loneliness, the record mixes casual guitar lines, muffled percussion and thrift store keyboards. Los Angeles Times, "Meet the teenage old souls making dreamy Latinx pop, from their bedroom to yours," 14 Aug. 2019 But singing quickly became a labor of love rather than lust. Jordan Runtagh,, "The Most Interesting Man in Rock: How David Crosby Survived Everything — and Lived to Sing About It," 24 July 2019 The book channels Tom Wolfe’s fiction—the gonzo, swooshy sentences, the satirical edge—and Roth is everywhere, too, in Toby’s lust, Jewishness, and incandescent neurosis. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“Fleishman Is in Trouble” Turns the Marriage Novel Inside-Out," 27 June 2019 There’s lust in spades, with years of fantasies to fuel the fire. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "My high school sweetheart is back and I’m falling for him all over again. But there are some red flags.," 22 June 2019 The exchanges between these two self-regarding alpha males took the lid off a strange stew of preening and paranoia, of terror and lust, of claims both to exemplary courage and to hypervigilant caution. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vile Bodies," 17 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The harshest critics likened lusting after #IceBae to being smitten with a concentration camp guard. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "The #IceBae Meme Captures the Worst of 2019 So Far," 17 July 2019 Rhoades, lusting to put Axelrod away, gives his associate a hard time. Teddy Greenstein,, "Theo Epstein, Scottie Pippen and Chuck Wepner: No TV show has better sports analogies than Showtime’s 'Billions'," 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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Dictionary Entries near lust






luster blue


Statistics for lust

Last Updated

17 Sep 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 make a temporary encampment

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