[ wish ]
See synonyms for: wishwishedwisheswishing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to want; desire; long for (usually followed by an infinitive or a clause): I wish to travel.I wish that it were morning.

  2. to desire (a person or thing) to be (as specified): to wish the problem settled.

  1. to entertain wishes, favorably or otherwise, for: to wish someone well;to wish someone ill.

  2. to bid, as in greeting or leave-taking: to wish someone a good morning.

  3. to request or charge: I wish him to come.

verb (used without object)
  1. to desire; long; yearn (often followed by for): Mother says I may go if I wish.I wished for a book.

  2. to make a wish: She wished more than she worked.

  1. an act or instance of wishing.

  2. a request or command: I was never forgiven for disregarding my father's wishes.

  1. an expression of a wish, often one of a kindly or courteous nature: to send one's best wishes.

  2. something wished or desired:He got his wish—a new car.

Verb Phrases
  1. wish on,

    • to force or impose (usually used in the negative): I wouldn't wish that awful job on my worst enemy.

    • Also wish upon. to make a wish using some object as a magical talisman: to wish on a star.

Origin of wish

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb wishen, Old English wȳscan; cognate with German wünschen, Old Norse æskja; akin to Old English wynn “joy” (see winsome), Latin venus “charm” (see Venus); noun derivative of the verb

Other words for wish

Other words from wish

  • wisher, noun
  • wishless, adjective
  • in·ter·wish, verb (used with object), noun
  • outwish, verb (used with object)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wish


/ (wɪʃ) /

  1. (when tr, takes a clause as object or an infinitive; when intr, often foll by for) to want or desire (something, often that which cannot be or is not the case): I wish I lived in Italy; to wish for peace

  2. (tr) to feel or express a desire or hope concerning the future or fortune of: I wish you well

  1. (tr) to desire or prefer to be as specified

  2. (tr) to greet as specified; bid: he wished us good afternoon

  3. (tr) formal to order politely: I wish you to come at three o'clock

  1. the act of wishing; the expression of some desire or mental inclination: to make a wish

  2. something desired or wished for: he got his wish

  1. (usually plural) expressed hopes or desire, esp for someone's welfare, health, etc

  2. (often plural) formal a polite order or request

Origin of wish

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

Derived forms of wish

  • wisher, noun
  • wishless, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.