- characterized by melancholy; longing; yearning.
- pensive, especially in a melancholy way.
Origin of wistful
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wistfully
“It was a magical feeling, leaving daylight to sneak into a theater,” he says wistfully.Can Condon's Freak Show Win Broadway?
November 18, 2014
Years later, John Lewis recalled to me wistfully: “There was so much optimism, so much hope.”“So Much Hope”: A Reporter Remembers the March on Washington
August 27, 2013
Throughout, these weighty matters are examined candidly and wistfully, with the wisdom that only age and inwardness can bring.The Art of Digital Correspondence
May 12, 2013
(1.2.35–38) This wistfully fluid elasticity of self is a great challenge for an actor.The Old Man and the Sea
April 9, 2013
She wistfully wondered aloud to me last year if she had made the right decision.Inside the Salahi Split
September 16, 2011
Her eyes followed him wistfully: it was not his habit to leave her thus abruptly.Night and Morning, Complete
For a long time he lay looking up into her eyes—longingly, wistfully.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
And as he spoke, Cesarini turned keenly and wistfully round.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
She continued to look at him, wistfully, searchingly, gently.The Gentleman From Indiana
Mark looked about him wistfully, and his face brightened as he looked.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
- sadly pensive, esp about something yearned for
Word Origin and History for wistfully
1610s, "closely attentive," from obsolete wist "intent" (c.1500), of uncertain origin. Perhaps formed on the model of wishful. The meaning of "yearningly eager" is first recorded 1714. Related: Wistfully; wistfulness.