wish·​ful | \ ˈwish-fəl How to pronounce wishful (audio) \

Definition of wishful

1a : 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

Other Words from wishful

wishfully \ ˈwish-​fə-​lē How to pronounce wishful (audio) \ adverb
wishfulness noun

Examples of wishful in a Sentence

her wishful attempts to change her husband's bad habits
Recent Examples on the Web Her music gets her there too; the song ends on a wishful note — with banger percussion — about togetherness. New York Times, 24 July 2022 This journey may seem daunting at first, but missing out on valuable opportunities is not a wishful thing to do. Lara Sokolova, Forbes, 12 July 2022 This adds a new dimension to the wishful-thinking phase of our current crisis. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 13 June 2022 All hail the new monarch of the wishful thinkers, her majesty Kelly Clarkson! Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 4 May 2022 The jump in borrowing costs, adding hundreds of dollars a month to the typical mortgage payment and coming on top of two years of home price increases, has pushed wishful home buyers past their financial limits. New York Times, 29 June 2022 To call these proposals modest is to call stark naked fully clothed; to see them even as a small gesture is to look with wishful eyes through the most high-powered of microscopes. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 16 June 2022 Only a true wishful thinker could be confident of that. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 13 June 2022 While bureaucrats in Brussels and Washington DC push their wishful renewable energy dreams, the rest of the world has to get on with the ordinary business of making ends meet. Tilak Doshi, Forbes, 26 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of wishful

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for wishful

Time Traveler

The first known use of wishful was in 1593

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Dictionary Entries Near wishful

wishbone flower


wish fulfillment

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wishful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wishful. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for wishful


wish·​ful | \ ˈwish-fəl How to pronounce wishful (audio) \

Kids Definition of wishful

: having, showing, or based on a wish

More from Merriam-Webster on wishful

Nglish: Translation of wishful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wishful for Arabic Speakers


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