want Meaning, Definition & Usage
noun a state of extreme poverty
neediness; deprivation; privation.
noun the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
- there is a serious lack of insight into the problem
- water is the critical deficiency in desert regions
- for want of a nail the shoe was lost
noun anything that is necessary but lacking
- he had sufficient means to meet his simple needs
- I tried to supply his wants
noun a specific feeling of desire
- he got his wish
- he was above all wishing and desire
verb feel or have a desire for; want strongly
- I want to go home now
- I want my own room
verb have need of
- This piano wants the attention of a competent tuner
verb hunt or look for; want for a particular reason
- Your former neighbor is wanted by the FBI
- Uncle Sam wants you
verb wish or demand the presence of
- I want you here at noon!
verb be without, lack; be deficient in
- want courtesy
- want the strength to go on living
- flood victims wanting food and shelter
EtymologyOriginally an adj., from Icel.
The state of not having; the condition of being without anything; absence or scarcity of what is needed or desired; deficiency; lack; as, a wantof power or knowledge for any purpose; wantof food and clothing.
And me, his parent, would full soon devour For want of other prey. Milton.
From having wishes in consequence of our wants, we often feel wants in consequence of our wishes. Rambler.
Pride is as loud a beggar as want, and more saucy. Franklin.
Specifically, absence or lack of necessaries; destitution; poverty; penury; indigence; need.
Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches, as to conceive how others can be in want. Swift.
That which is needed or desired; a thing of which the loss is felt; what is not possessed, and is necessary for use or pleasure.
Habitual superfluities become actual wants. Paley.
(Mining) A depression in coal strata, hollowed out before the subsequent deposition took place.Eng. Syn. -- Indigence; deficiency; defect; destitution; lack; failure; dearth; scarceness.
Want transitive verb
To be without; to be destitute of, or deficient in; not to have; to lack; as, to wantknowledge; to wantjudgment; to wantlearning; to wantfood and clothing.
They that want honesty, want anything. Beau. & Fl.
Nor think, though men were none, That heaven would want spectators, God want praise. Milton.
The unhappy never want enemies. Richardson.
To have occasion for, as useful, proper, or requisite; to require; to need; as, in winter we. wanta fire; in summer we wantcooling breezes
To feel need of; to wish or long for; to desire; to crave." What wants my son?" Addison.
I want to speak to you about something. A. Trollope.
Want intransitive verb
To be absent; to be deficient or lacking; to fail; not to be sufficient; to fall or come short; to lack; -- often used impersonally with of; as, it. wantsten minutes of four
The disposition, the manners, and the thoughts are all before it; where any of those are wanting or imperfect, so much wants or is imperfect in the imitation of human life. Dryden.
To be in a state of destitution; to be needy; to lack.
You have a gift, sir (thank your education), Will never let you want. B. Jonson.
For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind. Pope.
✍ Want was formerly used impersonally with an indirect object. "Him wanted audience."Chaucer.