want

want

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of want in English

English Online Dictionary. What means want‎? What does want mean?

English

Alternative forms

  • waunt (obsolete)

Pronunciation

  • (UK, General New Zealand, General Australian) enPR: wŏnt, IPA(key): /wɒnt/
  • Rhymes: -ɒnt
  • (US) IPA(key): /wɑnt/ also sometimes enPR: wŭnt, wônt, IPA(key): /wʌnt/, /wɔnt/
  • (General New Zealand, non-standard) IPA(key): /wʌnt/
  • (some accents) enPR: wônt, IPA(key): /wɔːnt/
  • Rhymes: -ɔːnt
  • Homophone: wont

Etymology

From Middle English wanten (to lack), from Old Norse vanta (to lack), from Proto-Germanic *wanatōną (to be wanting, lack), from *wanô (lack, deficiency), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁weh₂- (empty). Cognate with Middle High German wan (not full, empty), Middle Dutch wan (empty, poor), Old English wana (want, lack, absence, deficiency), Latin vanus (empty). See wan, wan-.

Verb

want (third-person singular simple present wants, present participle wanting, simple past and past participle wanted)

  1. (transitive) To wish for or desire (something); to feel a need or desire for; to crave or demand. [from 18th c.]
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      I want to find a supermarket. — Oh, okay. The supermarket is at 1500 Irving Street. It is near the apartment. — Great!
  2. (transitive, in particular) To wish, desire, or demand to see, have the presence of or do business with.
    Ma’am, you are exactly the professional we want for this job.
    Danish police want him for embezzlement.
    • 2010, Fred Vargas, The Chalk Circle Man, Vintage Canada (→ISBN), page 75:
      But now it's different, if the police want him for murder.
  3. (transitive) To lack and be in need of or require (something, such as a noun or verbal noun). [from 15th c.]
    • 1741, The Gentleman's and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer, 1741-1794, page 559:
      The lady, it is said, will inherit a fortune of three hundred pounds a year, with two cool thousands left by an uncle, on her arriving at the age of twenty-one, of which she wants but a few months.
    • 1839, Chambers's Journal, page 123:
      Oh Jeanie, it will be hard, after every thing is ready for our happiness, if we should be sundered. It wants but a few days o' Martinmas, and then I maun enter on my new service on Loch Rannoch, where a bonny shieling is ready ...
    • 1847, The American Protestant, page 27:
      In this we have just read an address to children in England, Ireland, and Scotland, in behalf of children who want food to keep them from starvation.
    • 1866, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 7:
      “Your hair wants cutting,” said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room, Chapter 2:
      The mowing-machine always wanted oiling. Barnet turned it under Jacob's window, and it creaked—creaked, and rattled across the lawn and creaked again.
  4. (transitive) To lack and be without, to not have (something). [from 13th c.]
    • 1726, Jonathan Swift, Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World: part. III and IV, page 141:
      The least miserable among them appear to be those who turn to Dotage, and entirely lose their Memories; these meet with more Pity and Assistance, because they want many bad Qualities which abound in others.
    • (Can we date this quote?) James Merrick
      Not what we wish, but what we want, / Oh, let thy grace supply!
    • (Can we date this quote?) Addison
      I observed that your whip wanted a lash to it.
  5. (transitive, by extension, possibly obsolete) To lack and (be able to) do without.
    • 1626, Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimes: In Five Bookes, page 50:
      [...] which the Kings of Assyria had left for the maintenance of this Temple sacrifices, after the ouerthrow thereof, was shared among the Chaldzans; which they by this attempt were like to lose, and therefore were willing to want his presence.
    • 1797, The European Magazine, and London Review, page 226:
      For Law, Physick and Divinitie, need so the help of tongs and sciences, as thei can not want them, and yet thei require so a hole mans studie, as thei may parte with no tyme to other lerning, ...
  6. (transitive) To have occasion for (something requisite or useful); to require or need.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Edward Young, Night Thoughts:
      Man wants but little, nor that little long.
    • 1776, Oliver Goldsmith, Hermit, in The Vicar of Wakefield:
      Man wants but little here below, nor wants that little long.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Walden (link):
      [...] for my greatest skill has been to want but little.
  7. (intransitive) To desire (to experience desire); to wish.
    the cat wants back out again; you can leave if you want
    • 2019 May 5, "The Last of the Starks", Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4 (written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss):
      TYRION: You don't want it?
      BRAN: I don't really want anymore.
  8. (intransitive, dated) To be lacking or deficient or absent. [from 13th c.]
    • 1626, Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimes: In Five Bookes, page 404:
      They of the Citie fought valiantly with Engines, Darts, Arrowes: and when Stones wanted, they threw Siluer, especially molten siluer.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      The disposition, the manners, and the thoughts are all before it; where any of those are wanting or imperfect, so much wants or is imperfect in the imitation of human life.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find / What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind.
  9. (intransitive, dated) To be in a state of destitution; to be needy; to lack.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Ben Jonson
      You have a gift, sir (thank your education), / Will never let you want.
  10. (colloquial, usually second person, often future tense) To be advised to do something (compare should, ought).

Usage notes

  • This is a catenative verb. See Appendix:English catenative verbs

Synonyms

  • (desire): set one's heart on, wish for, would like
  • (lack): be without
  • (require): need, be in need of

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

want (countable and uncountable, plural wants)

  1. (countable) A desire, wish, longing.
  2. (countable, often followed by of) Lack, absence.
    • For Want of a Nail:
      For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
      For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
      For want of a horse the rider was lost.
      For want of a rider the battle was lost.
      For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
      And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
    • c. 1591, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI Part 2, act 4, sc. 8:
      [H]eavens and honour be witness, that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
  3. (uncountable) Poverty.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches, as to conceive how others can be in want.
  4. Something needed or desired; a thing of which the loss is felt.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Paley
      Habitual superfluities become actual wants.
  5. (Britain, mining) A depression in coal strata, hollowed out before the subsequent deposition took place.

Derived terms

  • want ad
  • wantful
  • wantless
  • wantsome
  • wanty

Translations

References

  • want at OneLook Dictionary Search

Anagrams

  • tawn

Afrikaans

Etymology

From Dutch want, from Middle Dutch want, from Old Dutch wanda, from Proto-Germanic *hwandē.

Conjunction

want

  1. for, because

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ʋɑnt/
  • Homophone: wand

Etymology 1

From Middle Dutch want, from Old Dutch wanda, from Proto-Germanic *hwandê.

Conjunction

want

  1. for, because
    Hij komt niet, want hij is ziek. — He is not coming, because he is sick. (Note: The order is SVO after want.)
Synonyms
  • omdat
  • dewijl
See also
  • aangezien
  • omdat

Etymology 2

From Middle Dutch want, from Old Dutch *want, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz.

Noun

want f (plural wanten, diminutive wantje n)

  1. mitten

Etymology 3

From Middle Dutch want, gewant, from Old Dutch *giwant, from Proto-Germanic *gawandą, from the root of winden.

Noun

want n (plural wanten, diminutive wantje n)

  1. shroud, sideways support for a mast.

Etymology 4

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb

want

  1. second- and third-person singular present indicative of wannen
  2. (archaic) plural imperative of wannen

Middle Dutch

Etymology 1

from Old Dutch wanda, from Proto-Germanic *hwandē.

Conjunction

want

  1. because, for
Descendants
  • Dutch: want

Etymology 2

From Old Dutch *want, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz.

Noun

want m

  1. glove, mitten
Inflection

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Descendants
  • Dutch: want

Further reading

  • “want (III)”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
  • “want (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929
  • “want (V)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929

Old High German

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *wanduz (stick, rod; barrier made of sticks, fence), whence also Old Norse vǫndr, Gothic 𐍅𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 (wandus).

Noun

want f

  1. wall

Descendants

  • Middle High German: want
    • Central Franconian: Wand, Wank
    • Cimbrian: bant
    • German: Wand
    • Hunsrik: Wand
    • Luxembourgish: Wand
    • Pennsylvania German: Wand
    • Vilamovian: waond
    • Yiddish: וואַנט(vant)

Tocharian A

Etymology

From Proto-Tocharian *w'entë, from Post-PIE *h₂weh₁ntos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wéh₁nts, from *h₂weh₁- (to blow) (compare English wind, Latin ventus). Compare Tocharian B yente.

Noun

want

  1. wind

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.