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[dih-zahyuh r] /dɪˈzaɪər/
verb (used with object), desired, desiring.
to wish or long for; crave; want.
to express a wish to obtain; ask for; request:
The mayor desires your presence at the next meeting.
a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment:
a desire for fame.
an expressed wish; request.
something desired.
sexual appetite or a sexual urge.
Origin of desire
1200-50; Middle English desiren < Old French desirer < Latin dēsīderāre; see desiderate
Related forms
[dih-zahyuh rd-lee, -zahy-rid-] /dɪˈzaɪərd li, -ˈzaɪ rɪd-/ (Show IPA),
desiredness, noun
desireless, adjective
desirer, noun
desiringly, adverb
overdesire, noun
self-desire, noun
undesiring, adjective
1. covet, fancy. See wish. 2. solicit. 3. aspiration, hunger, appetite, thirst. Desire, craving, longing, yearning suggest feelings that impel one to the attainment or possession of something. Desire is a strong feeling, worthy or unworthy, that impels to the attainment or possession of something that is (in reality or imagination) within reach: a desire for success. Craving implies a deep and imperative wish for something, based on a sense of need and hunger: a craving for food, companionship. A longing is an intense wish, generally repeated or enduring, for something that is at the moment beyond reach but may be attainable at some future time: a longing to visit Europe. Yearning suggests persistent, uneasy, and sometimes wistful or tender longing: a yearning for one's native land. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for desiring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Somerset shows all about a letter from the Queen, desiring him to let his wife continue with her.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • She beckoned to him, but he took no notice, not desiring to be disturbed at present.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • I even asked to see him, desiring, at the same time, that it might be alone.

    Miles Wallingford James Fenimore Cooper
  • My dear grandmother, you cannot think of desiring to remove my father at present?

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • Here he submitted to a preliminary baptism, desiring to complete the ceremony with greater solemnity in Warsaw.

  • The sun was hot, and Génifrède was not long in desiring to return to the garden.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • Tess, desiring to avoid contact with him, stopped a few paces away.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • But the heir, if he was the heir, had only resented the intrusion, desiring that he might be left alone.

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • All people are constantly thinking and desiring and, with varying degrees of energy, are putting thought and desire into action.

    Elementary Theosophy L. W. Rogers
British Dictionary definitions for desiring


verb (transitive)
to wish or long for; crave; want
to express a wish or make a request for; ask for
a wish or longing; craving
an expressed wish; request
sexual appetite; lust
a person or thing that is desired
adjective orectic
Derived Forms
desirer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre to desire earnestly; see desiderate
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 desiring



early 13c., from Old French desirrer (12c.) "wish, desire, long for," from Latin desiderare "long for, wish for; demand, expect," original sense perhaps "await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere "from the stars," from sidus (genitive sideris) "heavenly body, star, constellation" (but see consider). Related: Desired; desiring.


c.1300, from Old French desir, from desirer (see desire (v.)); sense of "lust" is first recorded mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with desiring
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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