wish
Pronunciation Noun

wish (plural wishes)

  1. A desire, hope, or longing for something or for something to happen.
  2. An expression of such a desire, often connected with ideas of magic and supernatural power.
  3. The thing desired or longed for.
    My dearest wish is to see them happily married.
    • 1901, W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey's Paw
      "I suppose all old soldiers are the same," said Mrs White. "The idea of our listening to such nonsense! How could wishes be granted in these days? And if they could, how could two hundred pounds hurt you, father?" / "Might drop on his head from the sky," said the frivolous Herbert.
  4. (Sussex) A water meadow.
Translations Verb

wish (wishes, present participle wishing; past and past participle wished)

  1. (transitive) To desire; to want.
    I'll come tomorrow, if you wish it.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      I would not wish / Any companion in the world but you.
    • 1716, Jonathan Swift, Phyllis, or the Progress of Love
      Now John the butler must be sent
      To learn the road that Phyllis went:
      The groom was wished to saddle Crop;
      For John must neither light nor stop,
      But find her, wheresoe'er she fled,
      And bring her back alive or dead.
  2. (transitive, now, rare) To hope (+ object clause with may or in present subjunctive).
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 84:
      I wish he mean me well, that he takes so much pains!
    • 1808, Jane Austen, letter, 1 October:
      She hears that Miss Bigg is to be married in a fortnight. I wish it may be so.
  3. (intransitive, followed by for) To hope (for a particular outcome).
    • 1727, John Arbuthnot, Tables of Ancient Coins, Weights and Measures
      This is as good an argument as an antiquary could wish for.
    • 1901, W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey's Paw
      Mr. White took the paw from his pocket and eyed it dubiously. "I don't know what to wish for, and that's a fact," he said slowly. "It seems to me I've got all I want."
  4. (ditransitive) To bestow (a thought or gesture) towards (someone or something).
    We wish you a Merry Christmas.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene viii]:
      I would not wish them to a fairer death.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 40:14 ↗:
      Let them be driven backward, and put to shame, that wish me evil.
  5. (intransitive, followed by to and an infinitive) To request or desire to do an activity.
  6. (transitive) To recommend; to seek confidence or favour on behalf of.
    • 1610, Ben Jonson, The Alchemist
      I was wished to your worship by a gentleman.
Translations Translations


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