See also: désire, désiré, Désiré, and Desiré



From Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, desirrer, from Latin dēsīderō (to long for, desire, feel the want of, miss, regret), apparently from de- + sidus (in the phrase de sidere, "from the stars") in connection with astrological hopes. Compare consider. Compare also desiderate.



desire (third-person singular simple present desires, present participle desiring, simple past and past participle desired)

  1. To want; to wish for earnestly.
    I desire to speak with you.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Bible to this entry?), Exodus xxxiv. 24
      Neither shall any man desire thy land.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
      Ye desire your child to live.
  2. To put a request to (someone); to entreat.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts XIII:
      And when they founde no cause of deeth in hym, yet desired they Pilate to kyll him.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, in The Mirror and the Lamp[1]:
      That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired.
  3. To want emotionally or sexually.
    She has desired him since they first met.
  4. To express a wish for; to entreat; to request.
  5. To require; to demand; to claim.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
      A doleful case desires a doleful song.
  6. To miss; to regret.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Jeremy Taylor to this entry?)
      She shall be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies.

Related termsEdit



desire (usually uncountable, plural desires)

  1. (countable) Someone or something wished for.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].
    It is my desire to speak with you.
    You’re my heart’s desire.
  2. (uncountable) Strong attraction, particularly romantic or sexual.
    His desire for her kept him awake at night.
  3. (uncountable) The feeling of desiring; an eager longing for something.
    Too much desire can seriously affect one’s judgment.
  4. (uncountable) Motivation. (Can we add an example for this sense?)



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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