1 of 2


: usually intense or unbridled sexual desire : lasciviousness
He was motivated more by lust than by love.
: an intense longing : craving
a lust to succeed
: enthusiasm, eagerness
admired his lust for life
: personal inclination : wish


2 of 2


lusted; lusting; lusts

intransitive verb

: to have an intense desire or need : crave
specifically : to have a sexual urge

Examples of lust in a Sentence

Noun He was consumed by lust. He was driven by a lust for power. Lust for chocolate drew her into the candy store.
Recent Examples on the Web
But my experiments and purchases were motivated less by an innate lust for superior coffee and more by a vague sense, absorbed osmotically from my cultural milieu, that better coffee was something adults strive for. Peter C. Baker, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 What’s teen-age about it is the combination of squirming lust with an awkwardness, masked by bravado, about where to go from there: on the rare occasions when a man and a woman meet in these paintings, there may be a flurry of loud shapes but never anything resembling an erotic spark. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 Emma’s stubborn determination to resist her own lust and get to know Dexter as a person is played to perfection by the 29-year-old Mod—equally prickly and darkly funny. Kerensa Cadenas, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 This complaint is not driven only by blood lust: Israel has lost more than 230 soldiers in Gaza to date—on a per capita basis, more than the United States lost during the entire Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Raphael S. Cohen, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2024 The point is to show off the design of the foldable phone to create a sense of mystique, power, and lust. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The downside to modern courtship is that people want to push the fast-forward button from lust to love without romancing each other along the way. Marissa Evans, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Authorities describe a case of lust, greed, and murder. Michelle Miller, CBS News, 9 Mar. 2024 Ariana’s been singing a lot about love so far—but this song seems to be more about lust. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 8 Mar. 2024
We’re treated to images of the baby shooting dice on the street, lusting for breasts to suckle and ultimately engaging in a shootout with three other thuggish Black babies. Kyle Bowser, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 Dunst wasn’t interested in playing the teenager lusted after by her middle-aged neighbor (Kevin Spacey). Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 Backstage hangers-on lusting after her billionaire husband? Lindsay Zoladz, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Accordingly, there are some tense moments, but mostly A League of Their Own concerns lusting after a young Tom Hanks and watching Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell run around in period softball costumes—a.k.a. instant serotonin. Emma Specter, Vogue, 24 Mar. 2024 That’s why power-hungry politicians lust for the powerless office. Neal B. Freeman, National Review, 14 Mar. 2024 Occasionally this has its benefits, as in 1793, when lusting after a lovable rogue (Barnard) can take her mind off crawling around in subservience as the wife of a gluttonous aristocrat (Nick Frost). Stephen Saito, Variety, 16 Mar. 2024 Cronenberg’s chief innovation is his capacity to recognize that whether lusting and falling in love are more like body horror or more like reincarnation is merely a matter of emphasis. Becca Rothfeld, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 Zendaya, whose best accessory is Timothée Chalamet, is the perfect poster girl for this new dawn at Alaïa which, while paying homage to Azzedine, resolutely drives the house forward for clients like herself who lust after newness. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 12 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German lust pleasure and perhaps to Latin lascivus wanton

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lust was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near lust

Cite this Entry

“Lust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: sexual desire especially if strong or uncontrolled
: a strong longing : craving


2 of 2 verb
: to have a strong desire : crave
especially : to have a strong sexual desire

More from Merriam-Webster on lust

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