View synonyms for want


[ wont, wawnt ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to feel a need or a desire for; wish for:

    to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.

    Synonyms: crave, require

  2. to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often followed by an infinitive):

    I want to see you.

    She wants to be notified.

  3. to be without or be deficient in:

    to want judgment; to want knowledge.

    Synonyms: need

  4. to fall short by (a specified amount):

    The sum collected wants but a few dollars of the desired amount.

  5. to require or need:

    The house wants painting.

verb (used without object)

  1. to feel inclined; wish; like (often followed by to ):

    We can stay home if you want.

  2. to be deficient by the absence of some part or thing, or to feel or have a need (sometimes followed by for ):

    He did not want for abilities.

  3. to have need (usually followed by for ):

    If you want for anything, let him know.

  4. to be in a state of destitution, need, or poverty:

    She would never allow her parents to want.

  5. to be lacking or absent, as a part or thing necessary to completeness:

    All that wants is his signature.


  1. something wanted or needed; necessity:

    My wants are few.

    Synonyms: desideratum

  2. something desired, demanded, or required:

    a person of childish, capricious wants.

  3. absence or deficiency of something desirable or requisite; lack:

    plants dying for want of rain.

    Synonyms: paucity, insufficiency, inadequacy, scarcity, dearth

  4. the state of being without something desired or needed; need:

    to be in want of an assistant.

  5. the state of being without the necessaries of life; destitution; poverty:

    a country where want is virtually unknown.

    Synonyms: indigence, penury, privation

  6. a sense of lack or need of something:

    to feel a vague want.



/ wɒnt /


  1. tr to feel a need or longing for

    I want a new hat

  2. when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive to wish, need, or desire (something or to do something)

    he wants to go home

  3. intrusually used with a negative and often foll byfor to be lacking or deficient (in something necessary or desirable)

    the child wants for nothing

  4. tr to feel the absence of

    lying on the ground makes me want my bed

  5. tr to fall short by (a specified amount)
  6. tr to have need of or require (doing or being something)

    your shoes want cleaning

  7. intr to be destitute
  8. tr; often passive to seek or request the presence of

    you're wanted upstairs

  9. intr to be absent
  10. informal.
    tr; takes an infinitive should or ought (to do something)

    you don't want to go out so late

  11. want in informal.
    to wish to be included in a venture
  12. want out informal.
    to wish to be excluded from a venture


  1. the act or an instance of wanting
  2. anything that is needed, desired, or lacked

    to supply someone's wants

  3. a lack, shortage, or absence

    for want of common sense

  4. the state of being in need; destitution

    the state should help those in want

  5. a sense of lack; craving



/ wɒnt /


  1. dialect.
    a mole

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈwanter, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • wanter noun
  • wantless adjective
  • wantless·ness noun
  • self-want noun
  • un·wanted adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of want1

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English wante, from Old Norse vanta “to lack”

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of want1

C12 (vb, in the sense: it is lacking), C13 (n): from Old Norse vanta to be deficient; related to Old English wanian to wane

Origin of want2

Old English wand

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. want in / out, Chiefly Midland.
    1. to desire to enter or leave:

      The cat wants in.

    2. Informal. to desire acceptance in or release from something specified:

      I talked with Louie about our plan, and he wants in.

More idioms and phrases containing want

  • waste not, want not

Discover More

Example Sentences

She must toil on, sometimes far into the night, to satisfy the wants of her growing family.

I'm concerned that so many people experienced complications, for want of a more inclusive word.

In his research, he and his colleagues have found that when faced with decisions, CEOs rarely give weight to the wants and needs of stakeholders, largely because there is little value or profit incentive to do so.

From Fortune

Every buyer has their own list of wants, needs, and must not have’s in their head.

You can paint a spoon any color you want and go crazy with experimental patterns.

So it might be me projecting my desires onto Archer to want to just get away from work for a few weeks.

Models in Israel will have to maintain a BMI of 18.5 or higher if they want to stay employed.

Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?

One wants speech to be free, but one doesn't actually want to hear it.

No one seems to know who that is—or why they would want to do such a thing.

Now first we shall want our pupil to understand, speak, read and write the mother tongue well.

The sailors sometimes use it to fry their meat, for want of butter, and find it agreeable enough.

It will be a busy session; and I want to see if I can't become a useful public man.

Do you want the marriage of your daughter with the rich and Honourable Harry broken?

I want to see the sort of thing happening to schools that has already happened to many sorts of retail shops.


Related Words

Discover More

When To Use

What are other ways to say want?

To want is to feel a need or a desire for something. How is want different from desire and wish? Find out on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




wannishwant ad