Did you know?

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

want - 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.



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.

noun want pronunciation in British English /wɒnt/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] formal a lack of something
    want of:

    His illness was caused by overwork and want of sleep.

    Their work reveals a want of skill.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [uncountable] a lack of money, food, and other things someone needs to live

      They were living in obvious want and squalor.

  2. 2


    [plural] things that you want or need

    This system has been designed to supply all your wants.

    wants and needs:

    We aim to satisfy our customerswants and needs.

  3. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    a lot of want a strong desire

    There's a lot of want from us as a team.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 08/05/2014


used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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