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Meaning of “want” in the English Dictionary

"want" in British English

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wantverb [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: I want some chocolate. She wants a meeting 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 airport? [+ obj + past participle ] This package - do you want it sent today? [+ obj + adj ] Do you want this pie hot? [+ obj + -ing verb ] I don't want you coming in at two a.m., 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • want verb [T] (NEED)

UK 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 UK
used in giving advice to mean that someone should do something: She wants to tell him now, before it's too late. You don't want to put too much pepper in.

wantnoun

uk   /wɒnt/ us   /wɑːnt/
(Definition of want from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"want" in American English

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wantverb [I/T]

us   /wɑnt, wɔnt/
  • want verb [I/T] (DESIRE)

to feel that you would like to have something or would like something to happen: [T] Who wants ice cream? [T] I want the cold weather to end. [I] She wanted to get new shoes. [T] I don’t want him talking about me. [I] I’ve been wanting to thank you for helping me.
If you are wanted, someone wishes to see or talk with you: [T] Harry! You’re wanted on the phone.
to need something: [I] You want to be careful to stay out of the sun.
want
noun [C/U] us   /wɑnt, wɔnt/
[C] A cat’s wants are few – food and companionship.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of want from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“want” in American English

European Union – in or out? The language of the UK’s referendum
European Union – in or out? The language of the UK’s referendum
by ,
June 22, 2016
by Liz Walter On June 23rd, Britain will decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union (EU). I’m more than happy to bore friends with my own views on the subject, but the purpose of this post is simply to highlight the language of the debate. The precise question we will be answering

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