• synonyms


[dih-zahyuh rd]
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  1. yearned or wished for; coveted.
  2. deemed correct or proper; selected; required: The chef added stock until the sauce reached the desired consistency.
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Origin of desired

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at desire, -ed2
Related formsun·de·sired, adjectivewell-de·sired, adjective


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.
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  1. a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment: a desire for fame.
  2. an expressed wish; request.
  3. something desired.
  4. sexual appetite or a sexual urge.
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Origin of desire

1200–50; Middle English desiren < Old French desirer < Latin dēsīderāre; see desiderate
Related formsde·sired·ly [dih-zahyuhrd-lee, -zahy-rid-] /dɪˈzaɪərd li, -ˈzaɪ rɪd-/, adverbde·sired·ness, nounde·sire·less, adjectivede·sir·er, nounde·sir·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·de·sire, nounself-de·sire, nounun·de·sir·ing, adjective

Synonyms for desire

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Synonym study

1. See wish. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for desired

enjoy, crave, covet, seek, like, fancy, aim, choose, pine, thirst, beg, importune, entreat, solicit, bespeak, petition, desiderate

Examples from the Web for desired

Contemporary Examples of desired

Historical Examples of desired

  • She awoke Milza, and desired that the household might be summoned.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Her Percival courted with results that left nothing to be desired.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The daughter of Pharaoh saw the youth and desired him for her husband.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • He was ill, and he desired to speak with his still beloved minister.

  • I desired her to give it into her own hand, when nobody was by.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for desired


verb (tr)
  1. to wish or long for; crave; want
  2. to express a wish or make a request for; ask for
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  1. a wish or longing; craving
  2. an expressed wish; request
  3. sexual appetite; lust
  4. a person or thing that is desired
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Related formsRelated adjective: orectic
Derived Formsdesirer, noun

Word Origin for desire

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



c.1300, from Old French desir, from desirer (see desire (v.)); sense of "lust" is first recorded mid-14c.

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early 13c., from Old French desirrer (12c.) "wish, desire, long for," from Latin desiderare "long for, wish for; demand, expect," original sense perhaps "await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere "from the stars," from sidus (genitive sideris) "heavenly body, star, constellation" (but see consider). Related: Desired; desiring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with desired


see leave a lot to be desired.

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