great or eager desire; yearning.

Origin of craving

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at crave, -ing1
Related formscrav·ing·ly, adverbcrav·ing·ness, nounun·crav·ing, adjectiveun·crav·ing·ly, adverb

Synonym study

See desire.



verb (used with object), craved, crav·ing.

to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly: to crave sweets; to crave affection.
to require; need: a problem craving prompt attention.
to ask earnestly for (something); beg for.
to ask (a person) earnestly for something or to do something.

verb (used without object), craved, crav·ing.

to beg or plead (usually followed by for).

Origin of crave

before 1000; Middle English craven, Old English crafian; akin to Old Norse krefja to demand, lay claim to
Related formscrav·er, noun

Synonyms for crave

1. yearn for, hunger for. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for craving

Contemporary Examples of craving

Historical Examples of craving

  • A sound of craving and eagerness that had nothing articulate in it but blood.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Throbbing with a grateful, craving allegiance, I seized the rein.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Why should I be sober, when in such moments I suffer agonies of craving?

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Thus it is not alcoholism or the craving for drink which is inherited.

  • It seemed to her that if she could not satisfy her craving she herself must lose her life.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for craving



an intense desire or longing



(when intr, foll by for or after) to desire intensely; long (for)
(tr) to need greatly or urgently
(tr) to beg or plead for
Derived Formscraver, noun

Word Origin for crave

Old English crafian; related to Old Norse krefja to demand, krǣfr strong; see craft
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

Word Origin and History for craving



Old English crafian "ask, implore, demand by right," from North Germanic *krabojan (cf. Old Norse krefja "to demand," Danish kræve, Swedish kräva); perhaps related to craft in its base sense of "power." Current sense "to long for" is c.1400, probably through intermediate meaning "to ask very earnestly" (c.1300). Related: Craved; craving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper