- to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.
- to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often followed by an infinitive): I want to see you. She wants to be notified.
- to be without or be deficient in: to want judgment; to want knowledge.
- to fall short by (a specified amount): The sum collected wants but a few dollars of the desired amount.
- to require or need: The house wants painting.
- to feel inclined; wish; like (often followed by to): We can stay home if you want.
- to be deficient by the absence of some part or thing, or to feel or have a need (sometimes followed by for): He did not want for abilities.
- to have need (usually followed by for): If you want for anything, let him know.
- to be in a state of destitution, need, or poverty: She would never allow her parents to want.
- to be lacking or absent, as a part or thing necessary to completeness: All that wants is his signature.
- something wanted or needed; necessity: My wants are few.
- something desired, demanded, or required: a person of childish, capricious wants.
- absence or deficiency of something desirable or requisite; lack: plants dying for want of rain.
- the state of being without something desired or needed; need: to be in want of an assistant.
- the state of being without the necessaries of life; destitution; poverty: a country where want is virtually unknown.
- a sense of lack or need of something: to feel a vague want.
- want in/out, Chiefly Midland.
- to desire to enter or leave: The cat wants in.
- Informal.to desire acceptance in or release from something specified: I talked with Louie about our plan, and he wants in.
Origin of want
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (tr) to feel a need or longing forI want a new hat
- (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to wish, need, or desire (something or to do something)he wants to go home
- (intr usually used with a negative and often foll by for) to be lacking or deficient (in something necessary or desirable)the child wants for nothing
- (tr) to feel the absence oflying on the ground makes me want my bed
- (tr) to fall short by (a specified amount)
- (tr) mainly British to have need of or require (doing or being something)your shoes want cleaning
- (intr) to be destitute
- (tr; often passive) to seek or request the presence ofyou're wanted upstairs
- (intr) to be absent
- (tr; takes an infinitive) informal should or ought (to do something)you don't want to go out so late
- want in informal to wish to be included in a venture
- want out informal to wish to be excluded from a venture
- the act or an instance of wanting
- anything that is needed, desired, or lackedto supply someone's wants
- a lack, shortage, or absencefor want of common sense
- the state of being in need; destitutionthe state should help those in want
- a sense of lack; craving
- English dialect a mole
Word Origin and History for want in
c.1300, "deficiency, shortage," from Old Norse vant, neuter of vanr "wanting, deficient;" related to Old English wanian "to diminish" (see wane). Phrase for want of is recorded from c.1400. Meaning "state of destitution" is recorded from mid-14c. Newspaper want ad is recorded from 1897. Middle English had wantsum (c.1200) "in want, deprived of," literally "want-some."
Idioms and Phrases with want in
Desire to enter, as in The cat wants in. The antonym is want out, as in The dog wants out. [First half of 1800s]
Wish to join a business, project, or other undertaking, as in Some investors want in but have not yet been admitted. Again, the antonym is want out, as in Many Quebec residents want out of Canada. [Mid-1900s]