Origin of want ad

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for want ad

  • Before the old man could answer they had reached the want-ad counter.

  • I was told the Enquirer posted the “want-ad” sheets of the paper at its back door an hour before daylight.

    Broke|Edwin A. Brown
  • Thinking that Mr. Malcom might have gone back to the want-ad department, she hastily returned there.

British Dictionary definitions for want ad

want ad


informal a classified advertisement in a newspaper, magazine, etc, for something wanted, such as property or employment
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