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want - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     want pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlewanting
past tensewanted
past participlewanted
  1. 1
    to feel that you would like to have, keep, or do something

    Do you still want these old letters?

    want something for something:

    What do you want for your birthday?

    want to do something:

    Liz wants to see the gardens.

    1. a.
      to feel that you would like someone to do something or would like something to happen
      want someone/something to do something:

      Her parents didn’t want her to marry him.

      want something of/from someone:

      I wish I knew exactly what they wanted of me.

      want something done:

      Mrs Miller wants the entire house repainted.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      informal to feel that you would like someone or something to be in a particular place or doing a particular job

      I want those boxes out of the living room by tomorrow!

      We want Stephen as chairman.

      Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      to ask for someone because you would like to see or speak to them

      Mum wants you – she’s in the kitchen.

      You’re wanted on the telephone.

      The head wants you in her office after school.

  2. 2
    to need something

    We desperately want rain.

    She wants help if she’s going to sort out her financial problems.

    You won’t want much money on a camping holiday.

    1. a.
      British if something wants doing, it needs to be done

      This bill wants paying.

    2. b.
      British informal to deserve something

      That rascal! He wants a good kick up the backside!

  3. 3
    to feel that you would like to have sex with someone

    She wanted him more than ever.

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