[ dih-zahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: desiredesireddesiresdesiring on

verb (used with object),de·sired, de·sir·ing.
  1. to wish or long for; crave; want.

  2. to express a wish to obtain; ask for; request: The mayor desires your presence at the next meeting.

  1. a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment: a desire for fame.

  2. an expressed wish; request.

  1. something desired.

  2. sexual appetite or a sexual urge.

Origin of desire

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre; see desiderate

synonym study For desire

3. Desire, craving, longing, yearning suggest feelings that impel one to the attainment or possession of something. Desire is a strong feeling, worthy or unworthy, that impels to the attainment or possession of something that is (in reality or imagination) within reach: a desire for success. Craving implies a deep and imperative wish for something, based on a sense of need and hunger: a craving for food, companionship. A longing is an intense wish, generally repeated or enduring, for something that is at the moment beyond reach but may be attainable at some future time: a longing to visit Europe. Yearning suggests persistent, uneasy, and sometimes wistful or tender longing: a yearning for one's native land.

Other words for desire

Other words from desire

  • de·sired·ly [dih-zahyuhrd-lee, -zahy-rid-], /dɪˈzaɪərd li, -ˈzaɪ rɪd-/, adverb
  • de·sired·ness, noun
  • de·sire·less, adjective
  • de·sir·er, noun
  • de·sir·ing·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·de·sire, noun
  • self-de·sire, noun
  • un·de·sir·ing, adjective

Words Nearby desire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use desire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for desire


/ (dɪˈzaɪə) /

  1. to wish or long for; crave; want

  2. to express a wish or make a request for; ask for

  1. a wish or longing; craving

  2. an expressed wish; request

  1. sexual appetite; lust

  2. a person or thing that is desired

Origin of desire

C13: from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre to desire earnestly; see desiderate

Other words from desire

  • Related adjective: orectic

Derived forms of desire

  • desirer, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with desire


see leave a lot to be desired.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.