View synonyms for wistfully


[ wist-fuh-lee ]


  1. in a way that is characterized by melancholy or longing; pensively:

    As soon as the first colored leaves appear, people start to speak wistfully of the last days of summer.

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Other Words From

  • un·wist·ful·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of wistfully1

First recorded in 1660–70; wistful ( def ) + -ly ( def )
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Example Sentences

To find out, you’ll have to read this beautiful, aching, and honest portrayal of a skier wistfully longing for something she gave up and an industry that seems to be devouring its own soul.

From our vantage in 2021, it’s hard to conceive of just precisely what to feel optimistic about, much less what we will one day look back upon wistfully.

This was no Dream Team or Redeem Team or any other collection of superstars who will be wistfully remembered in books or documentaries three decades from now.

From Time

“We’d certainly be open to a transfer,” he said wistfully, “if that’s ever in the cards.”

He’s intercut with shots of Jungkook glancing wistfully outside his window, as they both reminisce about how “one day the world stopped.”

From Vox

“It was a magical feeling, leaving daylight to sneak into a theater,” he says wistfully.

“My heart wants to vote yes,” Barclay said, shaking his head wistfully.

“I look back wistfully at the Cold War,” Inhofe said Thursday at a breakfast meeting with reporters.

Years later, John Lewis recalled to me wistfully: “There was so much optimism, so much hope.”

Throughout, these weighty matters are examined candidly and wistfully, with the wisdom that only age and inwardness can bring.

She wore a little red hood, and looked wistfully after Davy as the shop went out of sight.

Rosemary flitted about like a will o' the wisp, and finally went to the window, where she stood looking wistfully out.

He understood, and would obey; but his eyes followed her wistfully till she disappeared from sight.

He glanced rather wistfully in a puzzled way at the lovely little face framed with blowing golden hair.

"I tell you," he said, and turned his head to look wistfully up at the eastern coulée-rim, all tinted with the blazing sunset.