- lacking or absent: a motor with some of the parts wanting.
- deficient in some part, thing, or respect: to be wanting in courtesy.
- lacking; without: a box wanting a lid.
- less; minus: a century wanting three years.
Origin of wanting
- 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 want on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wanting
So many girls are idolizing these models and wanting to look like them.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
He posted on Facebook about wanting to do something “right” and meaningful.Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours
December 31, 2014
But throughout all this, Malone describe herself as “oddly responsible,” wanting to help her moms pay the bills as young as 10.Jena Malone’s Long, Strange Trip From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom
December 22, 2014
The vast majority of New Yorkers seem to disagree, wanting the Santas gone for good.Before the Bros, SantaCon Was as an Anti-Corporate Protest
December 12, 2014
Which was sweet and also troubling, because it meant that I have never shut up about wanting to be Peter Pan.The Cast of ‘Peter Pan Live!’ Knows You Hatewatched ‘The Sound of Music’
December 2, 2014
But Uncle Peter had already put in some hard winters, and was not wanting in fortitude.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
How can I be with you day after day without loving you, hungering for you, wanting you, body and soul?Viviette
William J. Locke
My reasons for not wanting to go to the railroad to work were good.Biography of a Slave
I've been wanting to tell you for more than a week, but I didn't know how.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Yes, as Henry was saying, I have been wanting to see you ever since my daughter spoke of you.In the Midst of Alarms
- lacking or absent; missing
- not meeting requirements or expectationsyou have been found wanting
- archaic minus
- (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 wanting
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 wanting
In addition to the idioms beginning with want
- want for nothing
- want in
- waste not, want not