desire


desire
desire vb Desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean having a longing for something. Desire, wish, and want are often used with identical intent though in such situations (usually everyday ones) that the degree of intensity of longing or need is not at issue
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help wanted

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we can order whichever model you wish

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In such use desire is often felt as more formal and dignified, and it may even be decidedly pompous in effect
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cleaning lady desires situation

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Desire in more general use, however, emphasizes the strength or ardor of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim
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more than any other thing on earth desired to fight for his country— White

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unions which desired to avail themselves of the benefits of the lawCollier's Yr. Bk.

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Wish is less strong, often suggesting a not usually intense longing for an object unattained, unattainable, or questionably attainable
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Newton's law of gravitation could not be wished into existence— Overstreet

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not to have property, if one wished it, was almost a certain sign of shiftlessness— Brooks

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Want (see also LACK) is a less formal term than wish and so is often interchangeable with it in situations where dignity of the subject or respectfulness is not at issue, though generally want implies that the longing is for something the attainment of which would fill a real need and which is actively hoped for
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those who wanted to live long— Fishbein

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the French wanted European unity— N. Y. Times

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Crave implies strongly the force of physical or mental appetite or need (as of hunger, thirst, love, or ambition)
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crave peace and security after war

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that eternal craving for amusement— Donn Byrne

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what he craved was books of poetry and chivalry— Weeks

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Covet implies a strong, eager desire, often inordinate and envious and often for what belongs to another
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where water is the most coveted and essential resource because its supply is limited— Amer. Guide Series: Texas

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we hate no people, and covet no people's landWillkie

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Analogous words: *Iong, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst: aspire, pant, *aim
Contrasted words: abhor, abominate, loathe, detest, *hate: spurn, repudiate, reject, refuse, *decline
desire n Desire, appetite, lust, passion, urge are comparable as meaning a longing for something regarded as essential to one's well-being or happiness or as meaning an impulse originating in a man's nature and driving him toward the object or the experience which promises him enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.
Desire may be used of every conceivable longing that stirs one emotionally, whether that longing originates in man's physical or in his spiritual nature, whether it is natural and normal or unnatural and perverted, whether it is generally regarded as low or high in the scale of moral or spiritual values
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the desire for food

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the desire for an education

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a desire for change

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the desire for peace

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his physical desire to sit in the sun and do nothing— A nderson

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the keen desire ... to pay their debts— Repplier

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nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself— T. S. Eliot

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Congreve's characters have inclinations, not desires; habits, not ecstasies— J. M. Brown

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It may be used specifically to denote sexual longing, but it does not always convey derogatory connotations when so restricted in meaning
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Iike the flesh of animals distended by fear or desireCather

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Desire is often used in implicit contrast to will or volition, for in itself it carries no implication of a determination or effort to possess or attain
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she had the desire to do something which she objected to doing— Bennett

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guiltless even of a desire for any private possession or advantage of their own— Dickinson

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Appetite is almost as extensive in its range of application as desire, and it invariably implies an imperative demand for satisfaction. It is specifically applied to the longings (as hunger, thirst, and sexual desire) which arise out of man's physical nature and which may be thwarted only by circumstances beyond one's control or by deliberate self-control
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a slave to his ap-petite for drink

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the child is losing his appetite and only picks at his food

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impose restraints upon one's physical appetites

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he collected guns and women and his sexual appetite was awesome— E. D. Radin

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The word may be applied also to equally exacting longings which drive one to their satisfaction, whether they originate in his nature or are acquired
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man's distinguishing characteristic is the appetite for happiness

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an insatiable appetite for news

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a!most pathological in his appetite for activity— Mencken

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Lust combines the specific denotation of desire as a longing that stirs emotion and that of appetite as a longing that exacts satisfaction; often it implies domination by the emotion or insatiability of the appetite
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Jansen . . . utterly condemned, as abominable concupiscence, not only sensuality (the lust of the flesh) but scientific curiosity (the lust of knowing) and ambition (the lust of power)— Preserved Smith

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whose ruling passion was the lust of praise— Pope

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When used specifically to denote sexual longing, lust unlike desire automatically carries derogatory connotations
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in his morning litany he could pray to be kept from lasciviousness, but when night came lust might come with it— Van Doren

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Passion is applied to any intense and preoccupying emotion which gives one's mind its particular bent or which serves as an outlet for and gives direction to one's energies. Though it comes close to lust in suggesting the energizing of desire by the vehemence of the emotions, passion is the better choice when personal predilection is implied; thus, he, too, knew the lust (better than passion) for power; but, his work reveals a passion (better than lust) for perfection
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avarice, he assured them, was the one passion that grew stronger and sweeter in old age. He had the lust for money as Martinez had for women— Cather

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the dream, the ambition, the passion of Mr. Raycie's life was (as his son knew) to found a Family— Wharton

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Urge, which basically means a force or motive which drives one to action, often more specifically denotes a strong, persistent, and compelling desire that has its origin in one's physical nature or one's peculiar temperament. The word is sometimes applied to the physical appetites (the sexual appetite is often called "the biological urge"), but it is more often used of a desire so strong and insistent that it must be satisfied or a sense of frustration ensues
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an urge to travel

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an urge to marry

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that almost mystic urge to climb can dominate your whole life— Vaughan-Thomas

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Analogous words: longing, yearning, hankering, pining, hungering or hunger, thirsting or thirst (see LONG vb): *cupidity, greed, avarice, rapacity
Antonyms: distaste
Contrasted words: repugnance, repellency or repulsion, abhorrence (see corresponding adjectives at REPUGNANT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Desire — De*sire , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Desired}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Desiring}.] [F. d[ e]sirer, L. desiderare, origin uncertain, perh. fr. de + sidus star, constellation, and hence orig., to turn the eyes from the stars. Cf. {Consider}, and {Desiderate},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Desire — Desire …   Википедия

  • desire — [di zīr′] vt. desired, desiring [ME desiren < OFr desirer < L desiderare, orig., prob., to await from the stars < de , from + sidus, star: see SIDEREAL] 1. to wish or long for; crave; covet 2. to ask for; request 3. to want sexually vi.… …   English World dictionary

  • Desire — De*sire , n. [F. d[ e]sir, fr. d[ e]sirer. See {Desire}, v. t.] 1. The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • désiré — désiré, ée (dé zi ré, rée ; plusieurs, dit l Académie, prononcent de zi ré, rée) part. passé. •   Peutêtre nous touchons au moment désiré, CORN. Sert. III, 4. •   Commander est bon ; être riche est bon ; et ces bonnes choses, mal prises et mal… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • desire — [n1] want, longing admiration, ambition, appetite, ardor, aspiration, attraction, avidity, concupiscence, covetousness, craving, craze, cupidity, devotion, doting, eagerness, fancy, fascination, fervor, fondness, frenzy, greed, hankering*, hunger …   New thesaurus


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