Origin of wish

before 900; (v.) Middle English wisshen, Old English wȳscan; cognate with German wünschen, Old Norse æskja; akin to Old English wynn joy (see winsome), Latin venus charm (see Venus); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related formswish·er, nounwish·less, adjectivein·ter·wish, verb (used with object), nounout·wish, verb (used with object)

Synonym study

1. Wish, desire, want indicate a longing for something. To wish is to feel an impulse toward attainment or possession of something; the strength of the feeling may be of greater or lesser intensity: I wish I could go home. Desire, a more formal word, suggests a strong wish: They desire a new regime. Want, usually colloquial in use, suggests a feeling of lack or need that imperatively demands fulfillment: People all over the world want peace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wish

British Dictionary definitions for wish

wish

/ (wɪʃ) /

verb

noun

See also wish on
Derived Formswisher, nounwishless, adjective

Word Origin for wish

Old English wӯscan; related to Old Norse öskja, German wünschen, Dutch wenschen
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 wish

wish


v.

Old English wyscan "to wish," from Proto-Germanic *wunskijanan (cf. Old Norse æskja, Danish ønske, Swedish önska, Middle Dutch wonscen, Dutch wensen, Old High German wunsken, German wunschen "to wish"), from PIE *wun-/*wen-/*won- "to strive after, wish, desire, be satisfied" (cf. Sanskrit vanati "he desires, loves, wins," Latin venus "love, sexual desire, loveliness," venerari "to worship;" see Venus). The noun is attested from c.1300. Wish fulfillment (1901) translates German wunscherfüllung (Freud, "Die Traumdeutung," 1900).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wish

wish


In addition to the idiom beginning with wish

  • wish on

also see:

  • if wishes were horses
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.