\ ˈthərst How to pronounce thirst (audio) \

Definition of thirst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat associated with a desire for liquids also : the bodily condition (as of dehydration) that induces this sensation
b : a desire or need to drink
2 : an ardent desire : craving, longing a thirst for success


thirsted; thirsting; thirsts

Definition of thirst (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to feel thirsty : suffer thirst
2 : to crave vehemently and urgently thirsted for revenge thirsting after justice

Other Words from thirst


thirster noun

Choose the Right Synonym for thirst


long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain. longed for some rest yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing. yearned for a stage career hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire. always hankering for money pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible. pined for a lost love hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need. hungered for a business of his own thirsted for power

Examples of thirst in a Sentence

Noun his thirst for knowledge is evident in his book-filled house an unquenchable thirst for travel that has led her to the far corners of the globe
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For those who are fasting, iftar is a daily deliverance after the long hours of hunger and thirst. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 After World War II, a hunger for sociability and a thirst for efficiency led to kitchens that opened to surrounding rooms, with islands holding the appliances as well as the storage space that had gone missing when walls were taken down. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, 27 Apr. 2022 The hunger and the thirst for the game have never waned for Omer Yurtseven, even as the playing time dwindled after a breakout month in the Miami Heat’s absence of Bam Adebayo. Ira Winderman,, 14 Apr. 2022 While the actual effectiveness of each collaboration will vary, the thirst for knowledge is what stands out most. Rachel Chang, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Dec. 2021 There's also a skating rink, a pallet maze and miniature golf; when hunger or thirst strike, local food and beverage vendors will offer holiday treats for sale. Alison Stanton, The Arizona Republic, 7 Dec. 2021 Obviously, China has a huge thirst for Russian energy products, gas, oil, et cetera. CBS News, 16 Mar. 2022 Top-performing franchise consultants are lifelong learners who have a thirst for knowledge and a genuine interest in all things franchising. Don Daszkowski, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 To quench your thirst for live entertainment Rolling Stone and Meta will reactivate the Creator House — a collaborative project which recently presented a weekend of unparalleled programming at SXSW – on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th. Beatrice Hazlehurst, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For regular exercisers who aren’t going super hard or long—say, a 30-minute jog—drinking to thirst afterward is a good rule of thumb to follow, says Dr. Walrod. Courtney Campbell, SELF, 19 Aug. 2021 By meeting new consumer needs and supporting consumers thirst to know more about cocktails, E-commerce has expanded the size of the market. Paul Talbot, Forbes, 6 May 2021 Vinegar and other sour deeds are all that today's Republicans offer those of us who thirst for justice by standing in endless voting lines, or who seek health care or a livable wage. Arkansas Online, 3 Apr. 2021 A year after the show's release, and the hype around Connell's chain has died down, leaving me on the lookout for another fashion chain to thirst over. Eliza Huber,, 21 Feb. 2021 Still thirst quenching and delicious, but more robust. Rachel King, Fortune, 5 Sep. 2020 But there is more than one way to thirst for recognition. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 2 May 2020 The Nationals got a hero's welcome home from tens of thousands of people in a city that had thirsted for a baseball champion for nearly a century. Carole Feldman,, 2 Nov. 2019 Welcome to the future indeed, where nudes abound and thirst trapping for a good cause is no longer a taboo way of life. Jason Parham, Wired, 22 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thirst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thirst


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thirst


Middle English þurst, þrust, þirst, þrist, going back to Old English þurst, going back to Germanic *þurstu- (whence also West Frisian toarst "thirst," Old Saxon thurst, Old High German thurst, durst, beside an n-stem in Old Norse þorsti "thirst," Gothic þaurstei), going back to Indo-European *tr̥s-t- (whence also Old Irish tart "dryness, drought, thirst"), nominal derivative from a verbal base *ters- "dry up, become thirsty," whence Gothic gaþaursana "withered" (accusative plural participle, from a strong verb *gaþairsan "to wither," if not from gaþaursnan "to dry up, wither"), Greek térsomai, térsesthai "to become dry, dry up"; also from a present-tense formation *tr̥s-i̯e-, Old English þyrred "dried out," Gothic þaursjan "to be thirsty," Sanskrit tṛṣyati "(s/he) is thirsty"; from a causative *tors-éi̯e- Old High German derren "to make dry," Old Norse þerra, Latin torreō, torrēre "to heat so as to dry, scorch, parch, (of food) roast, bake," Sanskrit tarṣáyati "(s/he) makes thirsty," Hittite taršant- "drying"

Note: The noun thirst has lost etymological -u- in favor of the -i- spelling of the verb. Variation between -u- and -i- is already evident in Middle English, at a time when the vowels would still generally have been distinguished, along with metathetic variants with the vowel following r. The spelling thurst is not infrequent in the seventeenth century, though Samuel Johnson's dictionary (1755) only acknowledges thirst.


Middle English þirsten, þristen, thrusten "to suffer from thirst, be thirsty (in impersonal me thirsteth "I am thirsty"), going back to Old English þyrstan, going back to Germanic *þurstjan- (whence also Old Saxon thurstian "to be thirsty," Old High German thursten, dursten, Old Norse þyrsta), verbal derivative of *þurstu- "thirst" — more at thirst entry 1

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thirst.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for thirst


\ ˈthərst How to pronounce thirst (audio) \

Kids Definition of thirst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a feeling of dryness in the mouth and throat that accompanies a need for liquids
2 : the bodily condition that produces thirst die of thirst
3 : a strong desire a thirst for knowledge


thirsted; thirsting

Kids Definition of thirst (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to feel a need for liquids
2 : to have a strong desire They thirst for freedom.


\ ˈthərst How to pronounce thirst (audio) \

Medical Definition of thirst

: a sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat associated with a desire for liquids also : the bodily condition (as of dehydration) that induces this sensation

More from Merriam-Webster on thirst

Nglish: Translation of thirst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thirst for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thirst


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