want Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “want” in the English Dictionary

"want" in British English

See all translations

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

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of want?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“want” in American English

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

cracker

a thin, flat, hard biscuit, especially one eaten with cheese

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More