\ ˈwish How to pronounce wish (audio) \
wished; wishing; wishes

Definition of wish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to have a desire for (something, such as something unattainable) wished he could live his life over
2 : to give expression to as a wish : bid wish them good night
3a : to give form to (a wish)
b : to express a wish for
c : to request in the form of a wish : order
d : to desire (a person or thing) to be as specified cannot wish our problems away
4 : to confer (something unwanted) on someone : foist

intransitive verb

1 : to have a desire : want wishing for more
2 : to make a wish wish on a falling star



Definition of wish (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of wishing or desire : want a wish to travel
b : an object of desire : goal
2a : an expressed will or desire : mandate
b : a request or command couched as a wish
3 : an invocation of good or evil fortune on someone

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Other Words from wish


wisher noun

Synonyms for wish

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for wish


desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean to have a longing for. desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim. desires to start a new life wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable. wishes for permanent world peace want specifically suggests a felt need or lack. wants to have a family crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need. craves sweets covet implies strong envious desire. covets his rise to fame

Examples of wish in a Sentence

Verb You may use the telephone, if you wish. She wished them a happy New Year. We wish you a Merry Christmas. Noun He has a wish to be reunited with his son. The genie will grant you three wishes. Send her my good wishes.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to one poll, a recent YouGov survey conducted on behalf of workplace analytics firm Locatee, only 7% of respondents wish to return to the daily office grind. Giulia Bottaro, Fortune, "You’re heading back to the office. If she has her way, there will be nap time," 7 May 2021 Governments may, indeed, wish to consider providing direct economic aid to families beyond tax relief. The Editors, National Review, "Going Bust," 7 May 2021 But Khan doesn’t wish to monetise his auto-ambulance. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "India’s ubiquitous auto rickshaws are stepping up as oxygenated ambulances," 7 May 2021 Derek Shaffer, representing the charities, said that groups that wish to disclose would be welcome to do so. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Privacy v. transparency: Supreme Court conservatives question California donor disclosure requirement," 27 Apr. 2021 One option for companies that wish to send a message on voting rights is to scale back investments in states that enact restrictive voting laws. Matt Egan, CNN, "We're about to see how far CEOs will really go to protect voting rights," 14 Apr. 2021 But here again, advocates wish the Baker administration had bigger ambitions beyond a punch list of fixes and modernization projects. BostonGlobe.com, "Biden wants to spend billions on transportation infrastructure. What’s in it for Mass.?," 10 Apr. 2021 The Cincinnati Digital Academy is one option for families that wish to stay virtual, or students can learn remotely through Schoology, an online educational platform. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "See Cincinnati Public Schools' resolution for five-day in-person learning," 6 Apr. 2021 The separation will also provide clarity of the credit profile of JD Logistics Group for rating agencies and financial institutions that wish to analyze and lend against the credit of the supply chain solutions and logistics services business. Joe Cornell, Forbes, "JD.com To Carve-Out Its Logistics Business Via IPO," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In both chambers’ budgets, its wish would be almost entirely granted. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Federal judge defends her efforts to clean up Texas’ foster care system amid complaints from providers," 6 May 2021 Indianapolis is now taking its first shot at fulfilling Reich’s wish through the draft. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts select Kylen Granson, a pass-catching tight end, in fourth round of NFL Draft," 1 May 2021 King honored her daughter's wish but did tell DeGeneres she's always wanted her daughter's firstborn to be a boy. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Gayle King is going to be a grandmother! CBS anchor reveals daughter Kirby Bumpus is pregnant," 29 Apr. 2021 People commonly invest in health charities that promote public awareness of medical conditions and their risks and support patients and caregivers (e.g., wish-granting programs, housing or travel assistance, and other services). Neil Littman, Forbes, "Healthcare-Focused Impact Investing: Another Way To Invest For Change," 28 Apr. 2021 The conservatorship has been a point of contention for years, with many fans rallying around the Free Britney movement to express their wish that Spears be given more control over her money, schedule, and life. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Britney Spears Will Directly Address the Court About Her Conservatorship," 28 Apr. 2021 Besides, many of the region’s leaders have no wish to uphold democratic ideals. New York Times, "Myanmar Coup Puts the Seal on Autocracy’s Rise in Southeast Asia," 12 Apr. 2021 According to NFL Network, Bernard asked to be released and the club granted him his wish. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Bengals release veteran running back Giovani Bernard," 7 Apr. 2021 The mother is killed in a shootout and asks Jim to deliver the boy to relatives in Chicago as her dying wish. cleveland, "‘The Marksman,’ the shot-in-Cleveland movie starring Liam Neeson, was a dream come true for Cleveland native screenwriter," 27 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wish.' 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 wish


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wish


Middle English wisshen, from Old English wȳscan; akin to Old High German wunsken to wish, Sanskrit vāñchati he wishes, vanoti he strives for — more at win

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Time Traveler for wish

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wish

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wish. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for wish



English Language Learners Definition of wish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to want (something) to be true or to happen
formal : to want or ask to do (something)
: to want (someone) to be in a particular state



English Language Learners Definition of wish (Entry 2 of 2)

: a desire for something to happen or be done : a feeling of wanting to do or have something
: an act of thinking about something that you want and hoping that you will get it or that it will happen in some magical way
: good thoughts or feelings directed toward a person


\ ˈwish How to pronounce wish (audio) \
wished; wishing

Kids Definition of wish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have a desire for : want I wish you were here.
2 : to form or express a desire concerning He wished them both good luck.
3 : to request by expressing a desire I wish you to go now.



Kids Definition of wish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of having or expressing a desire usually in the mind Close your eyes and make a wish.
2 : something wanted I got my wish.
3 : a desire for happiness or luck Send them my best wishes.

More from Merriam-Webster on wish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wish

Nglish: Translation of wish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wish

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