Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To wish or long for; want.
  • transitive v. To express a wish for; request.
  • n. A wish or longing.
  • n. A request or petition.
  • n. The object of longing: My greatest desire is to go back home.
  • n. Sexual appetite; passion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. More formal or stronger word for want.
  • v. To put a request to (someone); to entreat.
  • v. Another word for want, connoting emotion.
  • n. Someone or something wished for.
  • n. Strong attraction, particularly romantic or sexual.
  • n. The feeling of desire.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To long for; to wish for earnestly; to covet.
  • transitive v. To express a wish for; to entreat; to request.
  • transitive v. To require; to demand; to claim.
  • transitive v. To miss; to regret.
  • n. The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy.
  • n. An expressed wish; a request; petition.
  • n. Anything which is desired; an object of longing.
  • n. Excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite.
  • n. Grief; regret.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wish or long for; be solicitous for; have a wish for the possession, enjoyment, or being of; crave or covet: as, to desire another's happiness; to desire the good of the common wealth; to desire wealth or fame.
  • To express a wish to obtain; ask; request; pray for.
  • To invite.
  • To require; claim; call for.
  • To long for, as some lost object; regret; miss.
  • Synonyms To crave, want, hanker after, yearn for.
  • To beg. solicit, entreat.
  • To be in a state of desire or longing.
  • n. An emotion directed to the attainment or possession of an object from which pleasure, whether sensual, intellectual, or spiritual, is expected; a passion consisting in uneasiness for want of the object toward which it is directed, and the impulse to attain or possess it; in the widest sense, a state or condition of wishing.
  • n. A craving or longing; yearning, as of affection; longing inclination toward something.
  • n. Appetency; sensual or natural tendency.
  • n. A prayer; petition; request.
  • n. The object of longing; that which is wished for.
  • n. Synonyms to Inclination, appetency, hankering, craving, eagerness, aspiration. See wish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something that is desired
  • n. an inclination to want things
  • v. expect and wish
  • v. express a desire for
  • v. feel or have a desire for; want strongly
  • n. the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state

Etymologies

Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre : dē-, de- + sīdus, sīder-, star.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English desiren, from Old French desir(r)er, from Latin desidero ("to long for, desire, feel the want of, miss, regret"), apparently from de- + sidus (in the phrase de sidere, "from the stars") in connection with astrological hopes. Compare consider. Compare also desiderate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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