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English definition of “want”

want

verb [T] uk   /wɒnt/ us    /wɑːnt/

want verb [T] (WISH)

A1 to wish for a particular thing or plan of action. 'Want' is not used in polite requests in British English: I want some chocolate. She wants a word with you. He's everything you'd ever want in a man - bright, funny and attractive. [+ to infinitive] What do you want to eat? [+ obj + to infinitive ] Do you want me to take you to the station? [+ obj + past participle ] This letter - do you want it sent first class? [+ obj + adj ] Do you want this pie hot? [+ obj + -ing verb ] I don't want a load of traffic going past my house all night, waking me up. You wait - by next year she'll be wanting a bigger house!
Compare
to wish or need someone to be present: Am I wanted at the meeting tomorrow? He is wanted by the police (= they are searching for him). want in/out of informal to want to start or stop being involved in something: I want out of the whole venture before it's too late.

want verb [T] (NEED)

to need something: Do you think this soup wants a bit of salt? [+ -ing verb] The wine is in the fridge - it just wants cooling for a couple of minutes. If you ask me that child wants a good slap! want to used in giving advice to mean that someone should do something: You want to tell him now, before it's too late.

want

noun uk   /wɒnt/ us    /wɑːnt/

want noun (LACK)

[U] a lack of something: For want of anything better to do I watched television for a while. If we fail it won't be for want of trying (= we have tried even if we fail).

want noun (NEED)

in want of needing: He appeared tired and in want of a shave. wants [plural] formal needs: Our wants are few.
(Definition of want from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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