longing

[ lawng-ing, long- ]
/ ˈlɔŋ ɪŋ, ˈlɒŋ- /

noun

strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant: filled with longing for home.
an instance of this: a sudden longing to see old friends.

adjective

having or characterized by persistent or earnest desire: a longing look.

Origin of longing

before 1000; Middle English; Old English langung; see long2, -ing1

Related forms

long·ing·ly, adverblong·ing·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See desire.

Definition for longing (2 of 3)

long

2
[ lawng, long ]
/ lɔŋ, lɒŋ /

verb (used without object)

to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn: to long for spring; to long to return home.

Origin of long

2
before 900; Middle English longen, Old English langian grow longer, yearn after, summon; see long1

Definition for longing (3 of 3)

long

3
[ lawng, long ]
/ lɔŋ, lɒŋ /

verb (used without object)

Archaic. to be suitable or fitting.
Obsolete. to be the possession; belong.

Origin of long

3
1150–1200; Middle English longen to be suitable or proper, belong, derivative of long on account (of), attributable (to), dependent (on), Old English gelang belonging (to), dependent (on); see along
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for longing

British Dictionary definitions for longing (1 of 6)

longing

/ (ˈlɒŋɪŋ) /

noun

a prolonged unfulfilled desire or need

adjective

having or showing desire or needa longing look

Derived Forms

longingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for longing (2 of 6)

Long

/ (lɒŋ) /

noun

Crawford Williamson. 1815–78, US surgeon. He was the first to use ether as an anaesthetic

British Dictionary definitions for longing (3 of 6)

long

1
/ (lɒŋ) /

adjective

adverb

noun

See also longs

Word Origin for long

Old English lang; related to Old High German lang, Old Norse langr, Latin longus

British Dictionary definitions for longing (4 of 6)

long

2
/ (lɒŋ) /

verb

(intr; foll by for or an infinitive) to have a strong desire

Word Origin for long

Old English langian; related to long 1

British Dictionary definitions for longing (5 of 6)

long

3
/ (lɒŋ) /

verb

(intr) archaic to belong, appertain, or be appropriate

Word Origin for long

Old English langian to belong, from gelang at hand, belonging to; compare along

British Dictionary definitions for longing (6 of 6)

long

4

abbreviation for

longitude
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

Medicine definitions for longing

Long

[ lông ]
Crawford Williamson 1815-1878

American surgeon and pioneer anesthetist who was among the first (1842) to use ether as an anesthetic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with longing

long


In addition to the idioms beginning with long

  • long ago
  • long and short of it, the
  • long arm of the law, the
  • long face
  • long haul
  • long in the tooth
  • long shot, a
  • long suit
  • long time no see

also see:

  • as long as
  • at (long) last
  • before long
  • come a long way
  • (long) drawn out
  • go a long way toward
  • happy as the day is long
  • in the long run
  • make a long story short
  • so long

Also see underlonger.

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