Skip to search.
World Factbook

Search Dictionary:

Houghton Mifflin

want  audio  (wnt, wônt) KEY 

want·ed, want·ing, wants
    1. To desire greatly; wish for: They want to leave. She wants a glass of water. See Synonyms at desire.
    2. To desire (someone to do something): I want you to clean your room.
    1. To request the presence or assistance of: You are wanted by your office.
    2. To seek with intent to capture: The fugitive is wanted by the police.
  1. To have an inclination toward; like: Say what you want, but be tactful.
  2. Informal To be obliged (to do something): You want to be careful on the ice.
  3. To be without; lack. See Synonyms at lack.
  4. To be in need of; require: "'Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter" (Lewis Carroll).
  1. To have need: wants for nothing.
  2. To be destitute or needy.
  3. To be disposed; wish: Call me daily if you want.
  1. The condition or quality of lacking something usual or necessary: stayed home for want of anything better to do.
  2. Pressing need; destitution: lives in want.
  3. Something desired: a person of few wants and needs.
  4. A defect of character; a fault.

want in Slang
  1. To desire greatly to enter: The dog wants in.
  2. To wish to join a project, business, or other undertaking.
want out Slang
  1. To desire greatly to leave: The cat wants out.
  2. To wish to leave a project, a business, or other undertaking.

Middle English wanten, to be lacking, from Old Norse vanta; see eu- in Indo-European roots

Usage Note:
When want meaning "desire" is followed immediately by an infinitive construction, it does not take for: I want you to go (not want for you to go). When want and the infinitive are separated by a word or phrase, however, for is used: What I want is for you to go. I want very much for you to go. Want in its meaning of "have need, lack" normally takes for: They'll not want for anything now that they've inherited his estate. See Usage Note at wish.

Visit our partner's site
Provided by Houghton Mifflin
logoeReference -- Download this interactive reference software to your desktop computer