want Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

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 ​politerequests: 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 toeat? [+ 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 ​piehot? [+ 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 ​biggerhouse!
Compare
to ​wish or need someone to be ​present: Am I wanted at the ​meetingtomorrow? 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 ​wholeventure 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 ​icecream? [T] I want the ​coldweather 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

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