1

wish

verb \ ˈwish \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of wish

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
3 a : 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

wisher

noun

Examples of wish in a Sentence

  1. You may use the telephone, if you wish.

  2. She wished them a happy New Year.

  3. We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Recent Examples of wish from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

wish

noun

Definition of wish

1 a : an act or instance of wishing or desire : want
  • a wish to travel
b : an object of desire : goal
2 a : 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

Examples of wish in a Sentence

  1. He has a wish to be reunited with his son.

  2. The genie will grant you three wishes.

  3. Send her my good wishes.

Recent Examples of wish from the Web

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.

First Known Use of wish

14th century


WISH Defined for English Language Learners

wish

verb

Definition of wish for English Language Learners

  • : to want (something) to be true or to happen

  • : to want or ask to do (something)

  • : to want (someone) to be in a particular state


wish

noun

Definition of wish for English Language Learners

  • : 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

  • wishes : good thoughts or feelings directed toward a person


WISH Defined for Kids

1

wish

verb \ ˈwish \

Definition of wish for Students

wished; wishing
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.

2

wish

noun

Definition of wish for Students

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.


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