Did you know?

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

wish for - 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.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theywish for
he/she/itwishes for
present participlewishing for
past tensewished for
past participlewished for
  1. 1
    wish for something formal to want something

    They do not wish for pity.

    What more could anyone wish for?

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    wish for something to hope that something that you want will happen by magic or by the power of your thoughts

    We know what she’ll be wishing for on her birthday.

  3. 3
    be careful what you wish for (it might just happen) used for telling someone to think carefully about the changes that they would like in their life, as they might not make them any happier
  4. 4
    couldn’t wish for more/better etc used for saying that someone or something is the best

    You couldn’t wish for a better friend.

    He could not have wished for a more pleasant holiday.

    Synonyms and related words
See also main entry: wish


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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