- to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.
- to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often followed by an infinitive): I want to see you. She wants to be notified.
- to be without or be deficient in: to want judgment; to want knowledge.
- to fall short by (a specified amount): The sum collected wants but a few dollars of the desired amount.
- to require or need: The house wants painting.
- to feel inclined; wish; like (often followed by to): We can stay home if you want.
- 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.
- to have need (usually followed by for): If you want for anything, let him know.
- to be in a state of destitution, need, or poverty: She would never allow her parents to want.
- to be lacking or absent, as a part or thing necessary to completeness: All that wants is his signature.
- something wanted or needed; necessity: My wants are few.
- something desired, demanded, or required: a person of childish, capricious wants.
- absence or deficiency of something desirable or requisite; lack: plants dying for want of rain.
- the state of being without something desired or needed; need: to be in want of an assistant.
- the state of being without the necessaries of life; destitution; poverty: a country where want is virtually unknown.
- a sense of lack or need of something: to feel a vague want.
- want in/out, Chiefly Midland.
- to desire to enter or leave: The cat wants in.
- Informal.to desire acceptance in or release from something specified: I talked with Louie about our plan, and he wants in.
Origin of want
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for want
So it might be me projecting my desires onto Archer to want to just get away from work for a few weeks.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
Models in Israel will have to maintain a BMI of 18.5 or higher if they want to stay employed.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
But the most important point I want to make is about what the press does now.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
What an amazing thing to be able to listen to any music you want, a whole world of bands.Belle & Sebastian Aren’t So Shy Anymore
January 7, 2015
People can talk all they want to about your bein' just a dub—I won't believe 'em.
I want him to think he ain't got a friend on earth but himself.
"I suppose you want to be taken back," said the superintendent, abruptly.Brave and Bold
Why should you want to see me do well, after our little affair?
Just sit around and talk wise about me all you want to, but watch.
- (tr) to feel a need or longing forI want a new hat
- (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
- (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
- (tr) to feel the absence oflying on the ground makes me want my bed
- (tr) to fall short by (a specified amount)
- (tr) mainly British to have need of or require (doing or being something)your shoes want cleaning
- (intr) to be destitute
- (tr; often passive) to seek or request the presence ofyou're wanted upstairs
- (intr) to be absent
- (tr; takes an infinitive) informal should or ought (to do something)you don't want to go out so late
- want in informal to wish to be included in a venture
- want out informal to wish to be excluded from a venture
- the act or an instance of wanting
- anything that is needed, desired, or lackedto supply someone's wants
- a lack, shortage, or absencefor want of common sense
- the state of being in need; destitutionthe state should help those in want
- a sense of lack; craving
- English dialect a mole
Word Origin and History for want
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."
Idioms and Phrases with want
In addition to the idioms beginning with want
- want for nothing
- want in
- waste not, want not