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


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.


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

Nearby words

  1. longi-,
  2. longicaudal,
  3. longicorn,
  4. longies,
  5. longinean,
  6. longingly,
  7. longinquity,
  8. longinus,
  9. longipennate,
  10. longirostral

Origin of longing

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

Related formslong·ing·ly, adverblong·ing·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See desire.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for longingly

British Dictionary definitions for longingly


/ (ˈlɒŋɪŋ) /


a prolonged unfulfilled desire or need


having or showing desire or needa longing look
Derived Formslongingly, adverb

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 longingly



"yearning, desire," Old English langung "longing, weariness, sadness, dejection," from long (v.). Related: Longingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper