Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday August 10, 1999
desideratum \dih-sid-uh-RAY-tum; -RAH-\
Something desired or considered necessary.
No one in Berkeley -- at least, no one I consorted with -- thought art was for sissies, or that a pensionable job was the highest desideratum.
-- John Banville, "Just a dream some of us had", Irish Times, August 24, 1998
Immense wealth, and its lavish expenditure, fill the great house with all that can please the eye, or tempt the taste. Here, appetite, not food, is the great desideratum.
-- Frederick Douglass, My Bondage, My Freedom
A technical dictionary . . . is one of the desiderata in anatomy.
-- Alexander Monro, Essay on Comparative Anatomy
Desideratum is from Latin desideratum, "a thing desired," from desiderare, "to desire."