tr.v. de·sired, de·sir·ing, de·sires
1. To wish or long for; want: a reporter who desires an interview; a teen who desires to travel.
2. To want to have sex with (another person).
3. To express a wish for; request.
a. The feeling of wanting to have something or wishing that something will happen.
b. An instance of this feeling: She had a lifelong desire to visit China.
2. Sexual appetite; passion.
3. An object of such feeling or passion: A quiet evening with you is my only desire.
4. Archaic A request or petition.
[Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre, to observe or feel the absence of, miss, desire : dē-, de- + , -sīderāre (as in cōnsīderāre, to observe attentively, contemplate; see CONSIDER).]
Synonyms: desire, covet, crave, want, wish
These verbs mean to have a strong longing for: desire peace; coveted the new car; craving fame and fortune; wanted a drink of water; wished that she had gone to the beach.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.