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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb want differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of want are covet, crave, desire, and wish. While all these words mean "to have a longing for," want specifically suggests a felt need or lack.

wants to have a family

When is it sensible to use covet instead of want?

While the synonyms covet and want are close in meaning, covet implies strong envious desire.

covets his rise to fame

When is crave a more appropriate choice than want?

In some situations, the words crave and want are roughly equivalent. However, crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need.

craves sweets

When might desire be a better fit than want?

Although the words desire and want have much in common, desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim.

desires to start a new life

In what contexts can wish take the place of want?

The words wish and want can be used in similar contexts, but wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable.

wishes for permanent world peace

Thesaurus Entries Near want

Cite this Entry

“Want.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/want. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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