What does desire mean?

Definitions for desire

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word desire.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. desirenoun

    the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state

  2. desirenoun

    an inclination to want things

    "a man of many desires"

  3. desireverb

    something that is desired

  4. desire, wantverb

    feel or have a desire for; want strongly

    "I want to go home now"; "I want my own room"

  5. hope, trust, desireverb

    expect and wish

    "I trust you will behave better from now on"; "I hope she understands that she cannot expect a raise"

  6. desireverb

    express a desire for


  1. desirenoun

    Someone or something wished for.

  2. desirenoun

    Strong attraction, particularly romantic or sexual.

    His desire for her kept him awake at night.

  3. desirenoun

    The feeling of desire.

    Too much desire can seriously affect one's judgment.

  4. desireverb

    More formal or stronger word for want.

    I desire to speak with you.

  5. desireverb

    To put a request to (someone); to entreat.

  6. desireverb

    Another word for want, connoting emotion.

    She has been desiring him since they first met.

  7. Etymology: From desiren, from desirrer, from desidero, apparently, from de- + sidus (see sidereal), but the connection of thought is not clear (perhaps "to wish (down) from the stars"?); compare consider. Compare also desiderate.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DESIREnoun

    Wish; eagerness to obtain or enjoy.

    Etymology: desir, Fr. deseo, Ital. desiderium, Lat.

    Drink provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Desire ’s the vast extent of human mind;
    It mounts above, and leaves poor hope behind. Dryden.

    Desire is the uneasiness a man finds in himself upon the absence of any thing, whose present enjoyment carries the idea of delight with it. John Locke.

    It is in a man’s power only to observe what the ideas are that take their turns in his understanding, or else to direct the sort, and call in such as he hath a desire or use of. John Locke.

  2. To Desireverb

    Etymology: desirer, French; desiderare, Latin.

    Thou shalt not desire the silver or gold. Deutr. vii. 25.

    Jove beheld it with a desiring look. Dryden.

    Sir, I intreat you home with me to dinner.
    —— I humbly do desire your grace of pardon;
    I must away this night. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    But since you take such int’rest in our woe,
    And Troy’s disast’rous end desire to know,
    I will restrain my tears, and briefly tell
    What in our last fatal night befell. John Dryden, Æn. b. ii.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Desireverb

    to long for; to wish for earnestly; to covet

  2. Desireverb

    to express a wish for; to entreat; to request

  3. Desireverb

    to require; to demand; to claim

  4. Desireverb

    to miss; to regret

  5. Desireverb

    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

  6. Desireverb

    an expressed wish; a request; petition

  7. Desireverb

    anything which is desired; an object of longing

  8. Desireverb

    excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite

  9. Desireverb

    grief; regret


  1. Desire

    "Desire" is a song by U2 and the third track on their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum. Released as the album's lead single, "Desire" was the band's first number-one single in the UK and Australia. It reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and topped both the Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, the first song to reach the top of both of these charts simultaneously. It reached number two on the Dutch Top 40. In 1989, "Desire" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Desire

    de-zīr′, v.t. to long for the possession of: to wish for: to request, ask: (B.) to regret.—v.i. to be in a state of desire.—n. an earnest longing for: eagerness to obtain: a prayer or request: the object desired: lust.—adj. Desir′able, worthy of desire: pleasing: agreeable.—ns. Desir′ableness, Desirabil′ity.—adv. Desir′ably.—adj. Desire′less.—n. Desir′er.—adj. Desir′ous, full of desire: anxious to obtain: eager.—adv. Desir′ously.—n. Desir′ousness. [Fr. désirer—L. desiderāre. See Desiderate.]

Editors Contribution

  1. desire

    An intuitive feeling.

    It was always her desire to form a unity government as people working together for the good and benefit of all is the most intuitive and just outcome.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. desire

    Song lyrics by desire -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by desire on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desire' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2010

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desire' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4695

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desire' in Nouns Frequency: #805

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'desire' in Verbs Frequency: #887

Anagrams for desire »

  1. eiders

  2. reside

How to pronounce desire?

How to say desire in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of desire in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of desire in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of desire in a Sentence

  1. Socrates, Quoted in: Plato, Phaedrus.:

    When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire . . .

  2. Marta Murray-Close:

    Survey researchers have long known that peoples' desire to present themselves in a positive light may lead them to understate socially undesirable behaviors and overstate socially desirable behaviors, some people who give inaccurate answers on surveys may know they're distorting the truth, but many people probably do it unconsciously.

  3. Mehmet Oz:

    John Fetterman has been ducking, dodging these debates, which is insulting to the voters of Pennsylvania, and he has to own the reasons for his desire to avoid a debate with me. Either he's healthy, which he says he is, and doesn't want to answer for his radical positions in past statements, or he's lying about his health.

  4. John Adams:

    A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.

  5. Tom Malinowski:

    I completely understand the desire among some of my colleagues to make progress in parallel on the reconciliation bill, but I also don't think given the progress, holding infrastructure hostage would be justified.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for desire

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • begeerte, wensAfrikaans
  • رغبة, رغبArabic
  • arzuAzerbaijani
  • теләкBashkir
  • жадаць, жаданнеBelarusian
  • желание, желая, искам, жадуване, жадувамBulgarian
  • desitjar, desigCatalan, Valencian
  • přát, toužit, přání, touhaCzech
  • ønske, begære, begær, lyst, attråDanish
  • begehren, Wunsch, VerlangenGerman
  • επιθυμώ, ποθώ, επιθυμία, πόθοςGreek
  • deziro, deziriEsperanto
  • deseo, desear, ganaSpanish
  • soov, ihaEstonian
  • شیفتگی, آرزو كردن, خواستن, کام, آرزو, یاسه, خواهشPersian
  • himoita, tahtoa, halu, haluta, mieliäFinnish
  • désirer, désirFrench
  • fonn, saint, mian, dúilIrish
  • baois, drùis, feòlmhorachd, baoiseachdScottish Gaelic
  • desexo, desexarGalician
  • imnee, dooill, mian, fooill, wooishManx
  • השתוקק, חפץ, תשוקה, חשקHebrew
  • इच्छा, चाहHindi
  • vágyHungarian
  • ցանկություն, իղձ, ցանկանալ, կիրքArmenian
  • desirarInterlingua
  • keinginan, hasratIndonesian
  • löngunIcelandic
  • desiderio, desiderare, volereItalian
  • רצוןHebrew
  • 欲する, 願望, 願う, 望むJapanese
  • სურვილიGeorgian
  • тілек, ықыласKazakh
  • បំណងប្រាថ្នាKhmer
  • ಡಿಸೈರ್, ಬಯಕೆ, ಹಂಬಲKannada
  • 바라다, 원하다, 욕망Korean
  • نیاز, خواستنKurdish
  • тилек, каалооKyrgyz
  • cupido, volo, cupio, cupitas, cupiditas, desiderium, voluntas, studium, desideroLatin
  • ຕ້ອງການLao
  • pageidavimas, aistra, trokšti, geisti, noras, geismas, pageidauti, potraukis, troškimasLithuanian
  • iekāre, vēlēšanās, alkas, vēlme, kaisle, kāroties, kārot, alkt, vēlēties, kaislībaLatvian
  • посакува, копнеж, страст, желба, посакаMacedonian
  • ആഗ്രഹം, മോഹംMalayalam
  • хүсэхMongolian
  • ईच्छा, इच्छाMarathi
  • keinginanMalay
  • verlangen, wens, begeerteDutch
  • ønskeNorwegian
  • pragnąć, pożądać, pragnienie, pożądaniePolish
  • desejo, desejarPortuguese
  • deziderat, dori, dorințăRomanian
  • вожделеть, пожелание, вожделение, желание, влечение, желатьRussian
  • तृष्णाSanskrit
  • žèleti, želja, жудња, žudnja, žudjeti, жудјети, жѐлети, žèljeti, жѐљети, žudeti, жудети, жељаSerbo-Croatian
  • túžiť, želanie, žiadať, túžba, želať, priaťSlovak
  • želja, poželenje, želetiSlovene
  • dëshirëAlbanian
  • längtan, begär, eftertrakta, längta, lust, önska, åtrå, begära, önskanSwedish
  • ariSwahili
  • ஆசைTamil
  • వాంఛ, కోరిక, ఆకర్షణ, ఆశ, ఇచ్చ, అపేక్ష, అభిలాషTelugu
  • хоҳиш, майл, рағбат, орзу‍Tajik
  • ความใคร่, ต้องการ, ความปรารถนา, ใคร่, ปรารถนา, ตัณหา, ความต้องการ, ประสงค์Thai
  • islegTurkmen
  • arzu hissi, arzuTurkish
  • теләкTatar
  • бажання, бажатиUkrainian
  • چاہت, خواہش, تمناUrdu
  • xohlamoq, tilak, orzu, ishtiyoq, istakUzbek
  • khao khátVietnamese
  • desirVolapük
  • פאַרלאַנגYiddish
  • 欲望Chinese

Get even more translations for desire »


Find a translation for the desire definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these desire definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "desire." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/desire>.

    Are we missing a good definition for desire? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    established or prearranged unalterably
    • A. adscripted
    • B. arbitrary
    • C. ectomorphic
    • D. foreordained

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for desire: