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[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ tə, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/
plural noun, singular desideratum.
things wanted or needed; the plural of desideratum:
“Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation; to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser, and more curmudgeonly.


[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh m, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ təm, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/
noun, plural desiderata
[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ tə, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/ (Show IPA)
something wanted or needed.
Origin of desideratum
1645-55; < Latin, noun use of neuter past participle of dēsīderāre; see desiderate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for desiderata
Historical Examples
  • These plants were therefore the rage; and, consequently, the desiderata of the nurseryman.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Priestley has ably given the desiderata of electricity, vision, &c.

  • "desiderata" he said slowly, and the colour left his face as he pronounced it.

    The Devourers Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • The system of Delsarte responds to all these desiderata of æsthetics.

  • A proper account and explanation of this is, I think, amongst the desiderata of literature.

  • Fortunately, in the case before us, all these desiderata are supplied.

  • All these desiderata chance had fulfilled in the visit of the King to Devlen.

    Men of Iron Howard Pyle
  • Two desiderata formed the principal inducement to long journeys, which sometimes lasted even several years: wood and soapstone.

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • Our trenches possessed few of the desiderata carefully laid down in the Field Service pocket-book.

    Wounded and a Prisoner of War

    Malcolm V. (Malcolm Vivian) Hay
  • Health, neatness, comfort, are the desiderata sought and obtained in her dress.

British Dictionary definitions for desiderata


the plural of desideratum


noun (pl) -ta (-tə)
something lacked and wanted
Word Origin
C17: from Latin; see desiderate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desiderata

plural of desideratum (1650s), from Latin, literally "something for which desire is felt," from past participle stem of desiderare "to long for" (see desire).



"something lacking," see desiderata.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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