[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-]

plural noun, singular de·sid·er·a·tum.

things wanted or needed; the plural of desideratum: “Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation; to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser, and more curmudgeonly.


[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh m, -rah-, -zid-]

noun, plural de·sid·er·a·ta [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ tə, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/.

something wanted or needed.

Origin of desideratum

1645–55; < Latin, noun use of neuter past participle of dēsīderāre; see desiderate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for desiderata

Historical Examples of desiderata

  • These plants were therefore the rage; and, consequently, the desiderata of the nurseryman.

  • Priestley has ably given the desiderata of electricity, vision, &c.

  • "Desiderata" he said slowly, and the colour left his face as he pronounced it.

    The Devourers

    Annie Vivanti Chartres

  • The system of Delsarte responds to all these desiderata of æsthetics.

  • A proper account and explanation of this is, I think, amongst the desiderata of literature.

British Dictionary definitions for desiderata



the plural of desideratum


noun plural -ta (-tə)

something lacked and wanted

Word Origin for desideratum

C17: from Latin; see desiderate
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 desiderata

plural of desideratum (1650s), from Latin, literally "something for which desire is felt," from past participle stem of desiderare "to long for" (see desire).



"something lacking," see desiderata.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper