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English definition of “want”


verb [T] (WISH)    /wɒnt/ US  /wɑːnt/
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 like verbWanting thingsHoping and hopefulness 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).Wanting thingsHoping and hopefulness 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.Wanting thingsHoping and hopefulness like verbGrammar:WantWe use the verb want to talk about wishes and needs, and to give advice:See moreGrammar:Want meaning ‘wish’ or ‘desire’We always follow want with a complement of some kind. The complement completes the meaning of the clause. The complement can be a noun or pronoun as an object, or a verb in the to-infinitive form, or an object plus a verb in the to-infinitive form:See moreGrammar:Want meaning ‘need’We can use want with the -ing form of a verb to say that something is necessary or should be done. This usage is quite informal:See moreGrammar:Want for advice and warningsIn informal situations, we can use want plus the to-infinitive to advise, recommend or warn. It is almost always in the present simple, but we can also use it with ’ll (the short form of will):See more
(Definition of want verb (WISH) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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