- 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
Examples from the Web for wants
But Babylon asks us to do a little more: It wants us to empathize.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops
January 9, 2015
He also wants to “replace every existing organism with a better one.”Design Your Own Dinosaur: The Era of Custom DNA
January 8, 2015
No one wants to align with less freedom at a time like this.
One wants speech to be free, but one doesn't actually want to hear it.
But at the heart of this “Truther” conspiracy theory is the idea that “someone” wants to destroy Bill Cosby.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
The mis-a-blest folks I've ever saw was them that had killed all their wants by overfeedin' 'em.
Now he was active, acutely aware of himself and all his wants.
He wants to know what mysteries this mountain hides from his eyes.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
But I used then to say, and I still am of opinion, that he wants a heart: and if he does, he wants every thing.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It's nice to be so tired, and to know one can sleep as long as one wants.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
- (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 wants
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."