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[wish-fuh l] /ˈwɪʃ fəl/
having or showing a wish; desirous; longing.
Origin of wishful
First recorded in 1515-25; wish + -ful
Related forms
wishfully, adverb
wishfulness, noun
unwishful, adjective
unwishfully, adverb
unwishfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wishful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, in spite of these ordinary defects, he was fond of his work and wishful to excel in it.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • He looked at me real sharp, an' sort of wishful, and then he says, "You look like a good woman."

    Against Odds Lawrence L. Lynch
  • I can tell that Emily is wishful to pass through this structure.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • I hoped that I was correct; maybe it was wishful thinking, but I claim that right.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • We are weary of our voyage of discovery and wishful to arrive at the promised land.

    Hilaire Belloc C. Creighton Mandell
British Dictionary definitions for wishful


having wishes or characterized by wishing
Derived Forms
wishfully, adverb
wishfulness, noun
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 wishful

1520s, from wish (n.) + -ful. Related: Wishfully; wishfulness. Wishful thinking is recorded from 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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