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[lawng-ing, long-] /ˈlɔŋ ɪŋ, ˈlɒŋ-/
strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant:
filled with longing for home.
an instance of this:
a sudden longing to see old friends.
having or characterized by persistent or earnest desire:
a longing look.
Origin of longing
before 1000; Middle English; Old English langung; see long2, -ing1
Related forms
longingly, adverb
longingness, noun
1. aspiration. See desire. 3. desirous, yearning.
1. apathy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for longingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But after looking at it longingly, she put it back in her pocket.

  • Uncle Matthew had spoken so sadly and so longingly that John had deeply pitied him.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Sometimes he would lose his mastery of himself 117and regain it only to listen again, wistfully, longingly.

    Tom Slade on a Transport Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • Then he said longingly, "I'm about to catch up on some sleep."

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • They are looking this way so longingly, but the procession don't come as far as them.

    Pelle the Conqueror, Complete Martin Anderson Nexo
  • "I wish I had as much money as you," said Jonathan, longingly.

    The Telegraph Boy Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • Dick looked after her longingly and heaved a mountainous sigh.

    The Rover Boys on the Farm Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)
  • Dick also glanced at him longingly as he said “last summer”.

    Jewel Weed Alice Ames Winter
  • But Peter had frowned angrily, as he longingly sized up Mr. Lane, and wished he were not a gentleman so that he could punch him.

    Much Ado About Peter Jean Webster
British Dictionary definitions for longingly


a prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
having or showing desire or need: a longing look
Derived Forms
longingly, adverb
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 longingly



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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