[wish-fuh l]


having or showing a wish; desirous; longing.

Origin of wishful

First recorded in 1515–25; wish + -ful
Related formswish·ful·ly, adverbwish·ful·ness, nounun·wish·ful, adjectiveun·wish·ful·ly, adverbun·wish·ful·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wishful

Contemporary Examples of wishful

Historical Examples of wishful

  • But, in spite of these ordinary defects, he was fond of his work and wishful to excel in it.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He looked at me real sharp, an' sort of wishful, and then he says, "You look like a good woman."

    Against Odds

    Lawrence L. Lynch

  • I can tell that Emily is wishful to pass through this structure.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • I hoped that I was correct; maybe it was wishful thinking, but I claim that right.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • We are weary of our voyage of discovery and wishful to arrive at the promised land.

    Hilaire Belloc

    C. Creighton Mandell

British Dictionary definitions for wishful



having wishes or characterized by wishing
Derived Formswishfully, adverbwishfulness, noun
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 wishful

1520s, from wish (n.) + -ful. Related: Wishfully; wishfulness. Wishful thinking is recorded from 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper