to want; desire; long for (usually followed by an infinitive or a clause): I wish to travel.I wish that it were morning.
to desire (a person or thing) to be (as specified): to wish the problem settled.
to entertain wishes, favorably or otherwise, for: to wish someone well;to wish someone ill.
to bid, as in greeting or leave-taking: to wish someone a good morning.
to request or charge: I wish him to come.
to desire; long; yearn (often followed by for): Mother says I may go if I wish.I wished for a book.
to make a wish: She wished more than she worked.
an act or instance of wishing.
a request or command: I was never forgiven for disregarding my father's wishes.
an expression of a wish, often one of a kindly or courteous nature: to send one's best wishes.
something wished or desired: He got his wish—a new car.
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.
- 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. 2023
How to use wish in a sentence
Nancy, on the other hand, was incapable of communicating her wishes.U.K. Courts Grant Mother Right to End Her 12-Year-Old Disabled Daughter’s Life | Elizabeth Picciuto | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A two-time Obama voter, Frank lives in a section of Haddam where blacks once resided and wishes he had one black friend.Richard Ford’s Artful Survivalist Guide: The Return of Frank Bascombe | Tom LeClair | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Diane and Alicia keep make decisions either without him or that directly go against his wishes.The Good Wife’s Secret Weapon: Matt Czuchry on Cary Agos’s Terrible, Horrible Year | Kevin Fallon | October 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
His violent, angry raps are the words he wishes he could say to people he wishes would listen.
She wishes to have her parents meet her at the hospital at the same time, hoping that will reunite them.‘Wetlands,’ About A Bodily Fluid-Obsessed German Teen, Is the Year's Raunchiest Film | Marlow Stern | August 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One frequently wishes to ascertain the specific gravity of quantities of fluid too small to float an urinometer.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
He is simply hearing every tone, knowing exactly what effect he wishes to produce and how to do it.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
He is what the bill wishes to make for us, a regular root doctor, and will suit the place exactly.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
The Duke found no difficulty in awakening the wishes, which were necessary to his scheme, in the mind of young Lorraine.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
That his friend had withdrawn, was a pledge of his pacific wishes; and, with a lightened countenance, Louis rose from his knee.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
British Dictionary definitions for wish
(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
(tr) to feel or express a desire or hope concerning the future or fortune of: I wish you well
(tr) to desire or prefer to be as specified
(tr) to greet as specified; bid: he wished us good afternoon
(tr) formal to order politely: I wish you to come at three o'clock
the act of wishing; the expression of some desire or mental inclination: to make a wish
something desired or wished for: he got his wish
(usually plural) expressed hopes or desire, esp for someone's welfare, health, etc
(often plural) formal a polite order or request
- See also wish on
- 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
- 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.