wishful thinking


Definition of wishful thinking

: the attribution of reality to what one wishes to be true or the tenuous justification of what one wants to believe

Examples of wishful thinking in a Sentence

The idea that the enemy will immediately surrender is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Recent Examples on the Web

For those who speculated that China would change and move onto a different path … that was their wishful thinking. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Tariffs on China Aren’t a Short-Term Strategy," 6 Oct. 2018 To expect Republicans to actually do this is wishful thinking to the point of being corny. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s talk of pardoning Manafort is a clear abuse of power," 29 Nov. 2018 Taylor Swift fans have spent the past few days in a deep state of wishful thinking that a secret album announcement is imminent. Vogue, "Taylor Swift Lovingly Trolls Fans Hoping for a Big Secret Album Announcement," 27 Feb. 2019 Supporters of Proposition C confuse good intentions and wishful thinking with an effective plan for dealing with the grim realities. Michael Moritz, WSJ, "Brother, Can You Spare Three Billion Dimes?," 28 Oct. 2018 Quintana is a pro and figures to work his way back toward consistency, which admittedly sounds a little like wishful thinking. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Kyle Hendricks' mastery of Giants suggests sabbatical over for 'The Professor'," 10 July 2018 To put it another way, prophecies of Trump’s downfall still look like wishful thinking. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "Why Trump May Yet Escape the Michael Cohen Freak Show," 20 Apr. 2018 There’s an element of wishful thinking, an excess of optimism, and maybe even a misjudgment. Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Trump and Kim May Define ‘Korea Denuclearization’ Quite Differently," 10 June 2018 But the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s made that seem like wishful thinking. Larry Wolff, WSJ, "Croatia Offers Redemption for Eastern Europe," 13 July 2018

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

1932, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for wishful thinking

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for wishful thinking

The first known use of wishful thinking was in 1932

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More Definitions for wishful thinking

wishful thinking


English Language Learners Definition of wishful thinking

: an attitude or belief that something you want to happen will happen even though it is not likely or possible

More from Merriam-Webster on wishful thinking

Nglish: Translation of wishful thinking for Spanish Speakers

Comments on wishful thinking

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having no equal

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