- 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 wistfulness
But the words “responsible” and “Republican” are no longer typeable together except in moods of mockery, or at least wistfulness.Obama's Budget Betrayal
February 15, 2011
That gave last night's dinner with Ahmadinejad an air of wistfulness tinged with growing fear.My Dinner With Ahmadinejad
September 23, 2010
There was a new atmosphere of wistfulness about the girl that made his heart ache.
There was a wistfulness about Tillie's mouth that set him wondering.
There had been a wistfulness, so rarely in Martin's voice, that Rose had detected it instantly.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
A new wistfulness was in her face, but it was not the wistfulness of hunger.White Fang
Vere smiled as she listened, but there was a wistfulness in her heart.A Spirit in Prison
- sadly pensive, esp about something yearned for
Word Origin and History for wistfulness
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.