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want

[wont, wawnt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.
  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.
  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.
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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.
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noun
  1. something wanted or needed; necessity: My wants are few.
  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.
  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.
  6. a sense of lack or need of something: to feel a vague want.
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Idioms
  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.
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Origin of want

1150–1200; Middle English wante < Old Norse vanta to lack
Related formswant·er, nounwant·less, adjectivewant·less·ness, nounself-want, nounun·want·ed, adjective
Can be confusedunwanted unwontedwant wont

Synonyms

See more synonyms for want on Thesaurus.com
1. require, crave. 3. need. 11. desideratum. 13. dearth, scarcity, scarceness, inadequacy, insufficiency, paucity, meagerness. 15. privation, penury, indigence.

Synonym study

1. See wish. 3. See lack. 15. See poverty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for want in

want1

verb
  1. (tr) to feel a need or longing forI 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. (intr usually used with a negative and often foll by for) to be lacking or deficient (in something necessary or desirable)the child wants for nothing
  4. (tr) to feel the absence oflying on the ground makes me want my bed
  5. (tr) to fall short by (a specified amount)
  6. (tr) mainly British 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 ofyou're wanted upstairs
  9. (intr) to be absent
  10. (tr; takes an infinitive) informal 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
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noun
  1. the act or an instance of wanting
  2. anything that is needed, desired, or lackedto supply someone's wants
  3. a lack, shortage, or absencefor want of common sense
  4. the state of being in need; destitutionthe state should help those in want
  5. a sense of lack; craving
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Derived Formswanter, noun

Word Origin

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

want2

noun
  1. English dialect a mole
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Word Origin

Old English wand
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 want in

want

n.

c.1300, "deficiency, shortage," from Old Norse vant, neuter of vanr "wanting, deficient;" related to Old English wanian "to diminish" (see wane). Phrase for want of is recorded from c.1400. Meaning "state of destitution" is recorded from mid-14c. Newspaper want ad is recorded from 1897. Middle English had wantsum (c.1200) "in want, deprived of," literally "want-some."

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want

v.

c.1200, "to be lacking," from Old Norse vanta "to lack, want," earlier *wanaton, from Proto-Germanic *wanen, from PIE *we-no-, from root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out" (see vain). The meaning "desire, wish for" is first recorded 1706. Related: wanted; wanting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with want in

want in

1

Desire to enter, as in The cat wants in. The antonym is want out, as in The dog wants out. [First half of 1800s]

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2

Wish to join a business, project, or other undertaking, as in Some investors want in but have not yet been admitted. Again, the antonym is want out, as in Many Quebec residents want out of Canada. [Mid-1900s]

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want

In addition to the idioms beginning with want

  • want for nothing
  • want in

also see:

  • waste not, want not
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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.