wishful

adjective

wish·​ful ˈwish-fəl How to pronounce wishful (audio)
1
a
: expressive of a wish : hopeful
looked at the toys with wishful eyes
b
: having a wish : desirous
2
: according with wishes rather than reality
wishful dreams
wishfully adverb
wishfulness noun

Examples of wishful in a Sentence

her wishful attempts to change her husband's bad habits
Recent Examples on the Web Stately, somber piano underscores his vocal shift from fond reminiscing on starry-eyed, youthful promises to wishful hoping that his ex-lover still somehow holds on to a love that mirrors his own. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 20 Feb. 2024 But Out There Screaming embraces the wishful mood that is driving this talk of a new era, and its stories posit what Black horror is and could be. Stephen Kearse, The Atlantic, 26 Jan. 2024 The pandemic, of course, is where Trump’s willful and wishful ignorance turned the most deadly. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 5 Dec. 2023 Advertisement In an alternative universe — one where things like money, filing deadlines and other practicalities don’t matter — there is wishful talk of a late entry in the Democratic contest, a savior to swoop in and electrify the party with a jolt of energy and passion. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2023 Some cats do, in fact, show little interest in birds, but the other rationales are more wishful than evidence-based. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 No lines for me and lots of people with wishful looks on their faces. Gabrielle Porcaro, Travel + Leisure, 2 Oct. 2023 Ten months in, his parents’ very cautious optimism seems wishful. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 These were very subversive tales that empowered these women and vented their wishful fantasies — often published in the literary gazettes of their day. New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wishful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of wishful was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near wishful

Cite this Entry

“Wishful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wishful. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

wishful

adjective
wish·​ful ˈwish-fəl How to pronounce wishful (audio)
1
: having a wish : desirous
2
: based on wishes rather than fact
wishful thinking
wishfully adverb
wishfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on wishful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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