9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[wish-fuh l] /ˈwɪʃ fəl/
having or showing a wish; desirous; longing.
Origin of wishful
1515-25; wish + -ful
Related forms
wishfully, adverb
wishfulness, noun
unwishful, adjective
unwishfully, adverb
unwishfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wishful
  • The holidays bring out the wishful thinker in all of us.
  • It is wishful thinking at best to believe that the carving depicts a stegosaur.
  • The deceptions run the gamut from purported natural disasters to wishful news.
  • At first the prediction struck me as wishful thinking.
  • The idea behind the super-committee was pretty straightforward, if laced with wishful thinking.
  • So in a sense, it went from being a cynical story to being a movie about wishful thinking.
  • Giving a new twist to the phrase wishful thinking, scientists have demonstrated that thoughts alone can enable action.
  • In this view, notions of technological autonomy are simply wishful thinking on our part.
  • But there is widespread ignorance about stem cells and wishful thinking about how quickly their potential will be achieved.
  • Don't dare to use what little logic you have left after a life of wishful thinking.
British Dictionary definitions for wishful


having wishes or characterized by wishing
Derived Forms
wishfully, adverb
wishfulness, noun
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 wishful

1520s, from wish (n.) + -ful. Related: Wishfully; wishfulness. Wishful thinking is recorded from 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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