Dictionary: de·sire (dĭ-zīr’) pronunciation

1. To wish or long for; want.2. To express a wish for; request.1. A wish or longing.2. A request or petition.3. The object of longing: My greatest desire is to go back home.4. Sexual appetite; passion.

[Middle English desiren, from Old French desirer, from Latin dēsīderāre : dē-, de- + sīdus, sīder-, star.]
desirer de·sir’er n.

SYNONYMS desire, covet, crave, want, wish. These verbs mean to have a strong longing for: desire peace; coveted the new convertible; craving fame and fortune; wanted a drink of water; got all she wished.

Thesaurus: desire


1. To have the desire or inclination to: choose, like, please, want, will, wish. Idioms: have a mind, see fit. See desire.2. To have a strong longing for: ache, covet, hanker, long, pant, pine, want, wish, yearn. Informal hone. See desire.


1. A strong wanting of what promises enjoyment or pleasure: appetence, appetency, appetite, craving, hunger, itch, longing, lust, thirst, wish, yearning, yen. See desire.2. Sexual hunger: amativeness, concupiscence, eroticism, erotism, itch, libidinousness, lust, lustfulness, passion, prurience, pruriency. See desire, sex/asexual.

Definition: request
Antonyms: answer, antagonism, reply


Definition: want, longing
Antonyms: aversion, disgust, dislike, distaste, hate, hatred, repulsion


Definition: ask, request
Antonyms: answer


Definition: want, long for
Antonyms: not want

Philosophy Dictionary: desire
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The standard model of human motivation, sometimes called the ‘Humean’ theory of motivation, is that it takes a desire and a belief. Belief by itself will not suffice, unless the objects of belief interact with the agent’s desires. They must be things towards which there is some attraction or aversion. Some say that if desires are thought of as conscious states of mind, this is untrue.

On the other hand, if they are thought of as no more than interpretations certified by the agent’s behaviour, then perhaps the model is trivial. But functionalism rescues the Humean theory, seeing ‘desire’ as a respectable theoretical category, identified by its role in systematizing the explanation of agents.

Salient questions include whether we always do what we desire to do, whether we can control our strongest desires, and how motivation by desire compares with motivation by principle. Major philosophies of life, including Buddhism and Stoicism, have presented the overcoming of desire as an ideal. See apathy, eros, summum bonum.

Broad English term for which there is no single Sanskrit or Pāli equivalent. Instead, Buddhist psychology classifies the affective impulses according to their various objects. Desire for unwholesome things is generally known as tṛṣṇā, closer in meaning to the English ‘craving’. Other forms of desire, which may be good, bad, or neutral, are analysed into the three forms of chanda. From this it can be seen that the often-encountered notion that Buddhism teaches that all desire is wrong is an oversimplification.

IN BRIEF: To wish or long for.

pronunciation Desire nothing for yourself, which you do not desire for others. — Spinoza.

Desire may refer to:

  • 1 Concepts
  • 2 Music
  • 3 Film and television
  • 4 Fiction
  • 5 Other uses


  • Desire (emotion), a sense of longing or hoping
  • Desire (philosophy)
  • Desire (psychoanalysis)
  • Interpersonal attraction
  • Lust, intense craving for self gratification
  • Libido, sexual desire
  • Greed, selfish pursuit of wealth, power, or possessions
  • Want, in economics
  • Preference, on which microeconomic theory is based
  • Motivation, thought that leads to an action
  • Tanha (Pali; “craving”) in Buddhist psychology, as described in the Four Noble Truths


  • Desire (album), by Bob Dylan (1976)
  • Desire (Tuxedomoon album), an album by Tuxedomoon (1981)
  • Desire (Tom Scott album), (1982)
  • Desire (Toyah album), (1987)
  • Desire (Pharoahe Monch album), (2007)
  • “Desire” (Andy Gibb song), (1980)
  • “Desire” (U2 song), (1988)
  • “Desire” (Eurovision song), a song by Claudette Pace (2000)
  • “Desire” (Do As Infinity song), (2001)
  • “Desire” (Ryan Adams song), (2002)
  • “Desire” (Geri Halliwell song), (2005)

Film and television

  • Desire (1936 film), a 1936 film starring Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper
  • Desire (1958 film), a 1958 Czech film
  • Desires (film), a 1952 German film
  • Desire (TV series), a telenovela on the United States broadcast television network MyNetworkTV
  • Desire Inc. (1990), a video documentary of unconventional television advertisements created by video artist Lynn Hershman


  • Desire (DC Comics), a fictional character The Sandman comic series
  • Desire (Manga), a yaoi manga written by Maki Kazumi and illustrated by Yukine Honami

Other uses

  • Desire Street, a famous street in New Orleans, Louisiana


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