Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

wish - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     wish pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlewishing
past tensewished
past participlewished
  1. 1
    [transitive] to want something to happen although it is unlikely
    wish (that):

    I wish I was rich!

    Andy wished that he could think of a way to help.

    I wish Beth would stop interfering.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] formal to want something, or to want to do something

    You may have a look around, if you wish.

    You can sit as close to the stage as you wish.

    wish to do something:

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss the matter.

  3. 3
    [transitive] used for saying that you hope that someone enjoys something or that something good happens to them
    wish someone a Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas etc.:

    May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

    wish someone luck/happiness/success:

    I wish you every success.

phrasal verbs

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play