Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “wistful”

wistful

adjective uk   /ˈwɪst.fəl/ us  
sad and thinking about something that is impossible or in the past: a wistful smile I thought about those days in Spain and grew wistful.Feeling sad and unhappy
wistfully
adverb uk   /-i/ us  
"I would love to go back to Venice," he said wistfully.Feeling sad and unhappy
wistfulness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
Sadness and regret
(Definition of wistful from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of wistful?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Feeling sad and unhappy, but you might be interested in these topics from the Sadness topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “wistful” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

scrumpy

an alcoholic drink made from apples

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More