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[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh m, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ təm, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/
noun, plural desiderata
[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ tə, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/ (Show IPA)
something wanted or needed.
Origin of desideratum
1645-55; < Latin, noun use of neuter past participle of dēsīderāre; see desiderate


[dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] /dɪˌsɪd əˈreɪ tə, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-/
plural noun, singular desideratum.
things wanted or needed; the plural of desideratum:
“Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation; to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser, and more curmudgeonly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for desideratum
  • In his preface he used the word desideratum-he was creating something he felt was required or desired.
  • The successful application of steam power to farm work, is a desideratum--especially a steam plow.
  • National interest still is the defining desideratum in the nation's foreign and defense policy.
  • So forecasters do not operate in an ivory-tower environment in which truth is the only desideratum.
  • The great desideratum of a department is hose-good hose-and plenty of it.
  • Skill and care are required in fitting, the fit being the great desideratum.
  • So my answer to you is that is not for me something desideratum.
British Dictionary definitions for desideratum


noun (pl) -ta (-tə)
something lacked and wanted
Word Origin
C17: from Latin; see desiderate


the plural of desideratum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desideratum

"something lacking," see desiderata.



plural of desideratum (1650s), from Latin, literally "something for which desire is felt," from past participle stem of desiderare "to long for" (see desire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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