What does wistful mean?

Definitions for wistful
ˈwɪst fəlwist·ful

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wistful.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pensive, wistfuladjective

    showing pensive sadness

    "the sensitive and wistful response of a poet to the gentler phases of beauty"


  1. wistfuladjective

    full of yearning or longing

    His eyes grew wistful as he recalled his university days.

  2. wistfuladjective

    sad and thoughtful

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Wistfuladjective

    Why, Grubbinel, dost thou so wistful seem?
    There’s sorrow in thy look. John Gay, Pastorals.

    Lifting up one of my sashes, I cast many a wistful melancholy look towards the sea. Gulliver’s Travels.


  1. Wistful

    Wistful (foaled in 1946 in Kentucky) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racemare. The daughter of Sun Again and granddaughter of Sun Teddy is best remembered for wins in the Kentucky Oaks, the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.


  1. wistful

    Wistful refers to having or expressing a feeling of vague or regretful longing, typically for something that is not attainable or has been lost. It can also imply a sense of melancholy or nostalgic yearning.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wistfuladjective

    longing; wishful; desirous

  2. Wistfuladjective

    full of thought; eagerly attentive; meditative; musing; pensive; contemplative

  3. Etymology: [For wishful; perhaps influenced by wistly, which is probably corrupted from OE. wisly certainly (from Icel. viss certain, akin to E. wit). See Wish.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wistful

    wist′fōōl, adj. hushed: full of thought: thoughtful: earnest: eager, wishful, longing.—adv. Wist′fully.—n. Wist′fulness.—adv. Wist′ly (Shak.), silently, earnestly. [Most prob. for whistful, whistly—i.e. silently; and not conn. with wish. Skeat, however, makes it a substitution for wishful, confused with wisly=certainly—Ice. viss, certain (distinct from, yet allied to, víss, wise).]

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How to say wistful in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wistful in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wistful in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of wistful in a Sentence

  1. Mike Connor:

    Cadman Kiker said. In all, 2,501 Americans were among the 4,414 Allied troops killed on those beaches. Distance always fades memory, and it is a reason why the French remember the fallen soldiers more easily. From childhood, they visit the cemeteries, memorials and museums that dot the Normandy countryside. U.S. veterans are invariably impressed by what French youngsters still know about their feats, their undying gratitude, while many are wistful that those stories resonate less and less among American youths where they live. Its so frightening, if Cadman Kiker forget history, it is doomed to repeat itself.

  2. Jason Ward:

    These were powerful and influential people and they, you know, they certainly were not going anywhere, this also informs Biden's kind of wistful insistence on returning to some sort of era of bipartisanship, within his political lifetime -- he's not simply talking about Democrats and Republicans getting along. He's talking about getting along with, an extinct generation of Democrats.

  3. Alan Valentine:

    For thousands of years, father and son have stretched wistful hands across the canyon of time, each eager to help the other to his side, but neither quite able to desert the loyalties of his contemporaries. The relationship is always changing and hence always fragile nothing endures except the sense of difference.

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Translations for wistful

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"wistful." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wistful>.

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    sound of something in rapid motion
    • A. busy
    • B. whirring
    • C. aligned
    • D. alternate

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