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longing

[lawng-ing, long-] /ˈlɔŋ ɪŋ, ˈlɒŋ-/
noun
1.
strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant:
filled with longing for home.
2.
an instance of this:
a sudden longing to see old friends.
adjective
3.
having or characterized by persistent or earnest desire:
a longing look.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English; Old English langung; see long2, -ing1
Related forms
longingly, adverb
longingness, noun
Synonyms
1. aspiration. See desire. 3. desirous, yearning.
Antonyms
1. apathy.

long2

[lawng, long] /lɔŋ, lɒŋ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn:
to long for spring; to long to return home.
Origin
before 900; Middle English longen, Old English langian grow longer, yearn after, summon; see long1
Synonyms
See yearn.

long3

[lawng, long] /lɔŋ, lɒŋ/
verb (used without object)
1.
Archaic. to be suitable or fitting.
2.
Obsolete. to be the possession; belong.
Origin
1150-1200; Middle English longen to be suitable or proper, belong, derivative of long on account (of), attributable (to), dependent (on), Old English gelang belonging (to), dependent (on); see along
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for longing
  • There was an elegiac tone to much of his work, a heightened awareness of loss and longing and regret.
  • The goatee was gone, but the thin wisp of a moustache was evidence of my longing for manhood.
  • It's not exactly homesickness, since that implies a longing for the familiar.
  • It will fill readers with pangs of warmth and longing.
  • Somewhere in between those two poles of existential longing lies ice cream.
  • Nicotine leaving the body caused the longing for the next smoke.
  • But our human longing to soar has often ended in tragedy.
  • If it commands our attention, it means it triggers a deep longing in our hearts, if not our flesh.
  • Times of ease and plenty can bring on the same longing.
  • Their hearts are filled with the same longing for a good life.
British Dictionary definitions for longing

longing

/ˈlɒŋɪŋ/
noun
1.
a prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
adjective
2.
having or showing desire or need: a longing look
Derived Forms
longingly, adverb

long1

/lɒŋ/
adjective
1.
having relatively great extent in space on a horizontal plane
2.
having relatively great duration in time
3.
  1. (postpositive) of a specified number of units in extent or duration: three hours long
  2. (in combination): a two-foot-long line
4.
having or consisting of a relatively large number of items or parts: a long list
5.
having greater than the average or expected range: a long memory
6.
being the longer or longest of alternatives: the long way to the bank
7.
having more than the average or usual quantity, extent, or duration: a long match
8.
seeming to occupy a greater time than is really so: she spent a long afternoon waiting in the departure lounge
9.
intense or thorough (esp in the phrase a long look)
10.
(of drinks) containing a large quantity of nonalcoholic beverage
11.
(of a garment) reaching to the wearer's ankles
12.
(informal) (foll by on) plentifully supplied or endowed (with): long on good ideas
13.
(phonetics, of a speech sound, esp a vowel)
  1. of relatively considerable duration
  2. classified as long, as distinguished from the quality of other vowels
  3. (in popular usage) denoting the qualities of the five English vowels in such words as mate, mete, mite, moat, moot, and mute
14.
from end to end; lengthwise
15.
unlikely to win, happen, succeed, etc: a long chance
16.
(prosody)
  1. denoting a vowel of relatively great duration or (esp in classical verse) followed by more than one consonant
  2. denoting a syllable containing such a vowel
  3. (in verse that is not quantitative) carrying the emphasis or ictus
17.
(finance) having or characterized by large holdings of securities or commodities in anticipation of rising prices: a long position
18.
(cricket) (of a fielding position) near the boundary: long leg
19.
(informal) (of people) tall and slender
20.
in the long run, See run (sense 82)
21.
(informal) long in the tooth, old or ageing
adverb
22.
for a certain time or period: how long will it last?
23.
for or during an extensive period of time: long into the next year
24.
at a distant time; quite a bit of time: long before I met you, long ago
25.
(finance) into a position with more security or commodity holdings than are required by sale contracts and therefore dependent on rising prices for profit: to go long
26.
as long as, so long as
  1. for or during just the length of time that
  2. inasmuch as; since
  3. provided that; if
27.
no longer, not any more; formerly but not now
noun
28.
a long time (esp in the phrase for long)
29.
a relatively long thing, such as a signal in Morse code
30.
a clothing size for tall people, esp in trousers
31.
(phonetics) a long vowel or syllable
32.
(finance) a person with large holdings of a security or commodity in expectation of a rise in its price; bull
33.
(music) a note common in medieval music but now obsolete, having the time value of two breves
34.
before long, soon
35.
the long and the short of it, the essential points or facts
See also longs
Word Origin
Old English lang; related to Old High German lang, Old Norse langr, Latin longus

long2

/lɒŋ/
verb
1.
(intransitive; foll by for or an infinitive) to have a strong desire
Word Origin
Old English langian; related to long1

long3

/lɒŋ/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (archaic) to belong, appertain, or be appropriate
Word Origin
Old English langian to belong, from gelang at hand, belonging to; compare along

long4

abbreviation
1.
longitude

Long

/lɒŋ/
noun
1.
Crawford Williamson. 1815–78, US surgeon. He was the first to use ether as an anaesthetic
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 longing
n.

"yearning, desire," Old English langung "longing, weariness, sadness, dejection," from long (v.). Related: Longingly.

long

adj.

"that extends considerably from end to end," Old English lang "long," from Proto-Germanic *langgaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon lang, Old High German and German lang, Old Norse langr, Middle Dutch lanc, Dutch lang, Gothic laggs "long").

The Germanic words are perhaps from PIE *dlonghos- (cf. Latin longus, Old Persian darga-, Persian dirang, Sanskrit dirghah, Greek dolikhos "long," Greek endelekhes "perpetual," Latin indulgere "to indulge"), from root *del- "long."

The adverb is from Old English lange, longe, from the adjective. No longer "not as formerly" is from c.1300; to be not long for this world "soon to die" is from 1714.

The word illustrates the Old English tendency for short "a" to become short "o" before -n- (also retained in bond/band and West Midlands dialectal lond from land and hond from hand).

Long vowels (c.1000) originally were pronounced for an extended time. Sporting long ball is from 1744, originally in cricket. Long jump as a sporting event is attested from 1864. A ship's long-boat so called from 1510s. Long knives, name Native Americans gave to white settlers (originally in Virginia/Kentucky) is from 1774. Long in the tooth (1841 of persons) is from horses showing age by recession of gums. Long time no see, imitative of American Indian speech, is first recorded 1900. To be long on something, "have a lot" of it, is from 1900, American English slang.

v.

Old English langian "to yearn after, grieve for," literally "to grow long, lengthen," from Proto-Germanic *langojanan (see long (adj.)). Cognate with Old Norse langa, Old Saxon langon, Middle Dutch langhen, Old High German langen "to long," German verlangen "to desire." Related: Longed; longing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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longing in Medicine

Long (lông), Crawford Williamson. 1815-1878.

American surgeon and pioneer anesthetist who was among the first (1842) to use ether as an anesthetic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with longing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for longing

long

(Chinese: "dragon"), in Chinese mythology, a type of majestic beast that dwells in rivers, lakes, and oceans and roams the skies. Originally a rain divinity, the Chinese dragon, unlike its malevolent European counterpart (see dragon), is associated with heavenly beneficence and fecundity. Rain rituals as early as the 6th century BC involved a dragon image animated by a procession of dancers; similar dances are still practiced in traditional Chinese communities to secure good fortune.

Learn more about long with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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