Dictionary.com

wishful thinking

Save This Word!

noun
interpretation of facts, actions, words, etc., as one would like them to be rather than as they really are; imagining as actual what is not.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of wishful thinking

First recorded in 1925–30

OTHER WORDS FROM wishful thinking

wishful thinker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use wishful thinking in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wishful thinking

wishful thinking

noun
the erroneous belief that one's wishes are in accordance with reality

Derived forms of wishful thinking

wishful thinker, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with wishful thinking

wishful thinking

Interpreting matters as one would like them to be, as opposed to what they really are. For example, Matthew wanted to be a basketball player, but with his height that was wishful thinking. This term comes from Freudian psychology of the mid-1920s and soon began to be used more loosely.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK