Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “desire”

See all translations

desire

verb [T not continuous] uk   /dɪˈzaɪər/ us    /-ˈzaɪr/ formal

desire verb [T not continuous] (WANT)

C1 to want something, especially strongly: I desire only to be left in peace. The hotel had everything you could possibly desire. What does her Ladyship desire me to do/desire of me? [+ to infinitive] The president desires to meet the new prime minister.

desire verb [T not continuous] (SEXUAL)

to have a strong sexual attraction to someone

desire

noun uk   /dɪˈzaɪər/ us    /-ˈzaɪr/

desire noun (WANT)

B2 [C or U] a strong feeling that you want something: I certainly have no desire to have children. There is a strong desire for peace among the people. He needed to satisfy his desire for revenge. [+ to infinitive] She had a burning/strong desire to go back to her home country before she died. Several people have expressed a desire to see the report.
More examples

desire noun (SEXUAL NEED)

[U] formal the strong feeling that you want to have sex with someone: sexual desire Beatrice was the object of Dante's desire.
Translations of “desire”
in Korean 갈망…
in Arabic رَغْبة…
in French désir…
in Turkish emel, istek, arzu…
in Italian desiderio…
in Chinese (Traditional) 想要, (尤指強烈地)渴望,希望,想要…
in Russian (сильное) желание, вожделение…
in Polish pragnienie, pożądanie…
in Spanish deseo…
in Portuguese desejo…
in German das Verlangen…
in Catalan desig…
in Japanese (強い)願望…
in Chinese (Simplified) 想要, (尤指强烈地)渴望,希望,想要…
(Definition of desire from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of desire?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “desire” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More