wish Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “wish” in the English Dictionary

"wish" in British English

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uk   /wɪʃ/  us   /wɪʃ/
  • wish verb (FEEL SORRY)

B1 [I + (that)] used with the past ​simple to ​express that you ​feelsorry or ​sad about a ​state or ​situation that ​exists at the ​moment: I wish (that) I was/were a ​bittaller. I wish (that) you were coming with me, Peter.
B1 [I + (that)] used with the past ​perfect to ​express that you ​feelsorry or ​sad about a ​particularaction in the past: I wish (that) I hadn't ​eaten so much. I ​bet she wishes (that) she'd never got ​involved in the ​wholemess.

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  • wish verb (WANT)

B2 [I or T] formal to ​want to do something: As you wish, ​Sir. It will be done. [+ to infinitive] I wish to make a ​complaint. Passengers wishing to take the Kings Cross ​train should ​board now. I don't wish toworry you but he did say he'd be back by ​midnight. [+ obj + adj ] Sometimes I was so ​depressed that I wished myself ​dead.
I wish (that)...
used to ​expressanger at someone's ​behaviour: I wish she'd ​shut up for a ​minute and ​let someone ​elsetalk. I wish you'd ​look at me when I'm ​trying to ​talk to you!

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  • wish verb (HOPE)

B1 [T + two objects] to ​hope or ​expresshope for another person's ​success or ​happiness or ​pleasure on a ​particularoccasion: We wish you every ​success in the ​future. I didn't ​evensee her to wish her a ​happybirthday/wish a ​happybirthday to her. I wished her a ​safejourney and ​waved her off.
wish sb well
to ​hope someone will ​succeed: I wished him well with his new ​venture.
  • wish verb (MAGIC)

[I or T] to ​hope that something you ​want will be made ​real because of good ​luck or ​magicalpowers: [+ that] I ​rememberblowing out the ​candles on my ​birthdaycake and wishing that John Lee would be my ​boyfriend. If I could wish myself ​anywhere in the ​world (= go ​anywhere as a ​result of making a wish)right now it would be ​somewherehot and ​sunny. He's ​funny, ​bright, ​handsome - everything a ​girl could wish for really. "Your ​job must be very ​glamorous." "I wish!" (= not at all.) "By the ​time I'm 40, I'll be ​rich." "You wish!" (= There is no ​chance of that ​happening.)
  • wish verb (GREET)

[T] Indian English to ​welcome someone with ​particular words or a ​particularaction: He wishes me every ​morning.
Phrasal verbs

wishnoun [C]

uk   /wɪʃ/  us   /wɪʃ/
  • wish noun [C] (WANT)

B2 a ​feeling of ​wanting something: [+ to infinitive] Did he ​express any wish tosee me? In ​accordance with his wishes (= what he ​wanted), he was ​buried next to his ​wife. They've ​deliberately gone against my wishes and ​sold the ​house. [+ that] It was grandpa's ​greatest wish that one of his ​grandchildren would ​become a ​doctor.

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  • wish noun [C] (GREETING)

A2 something you say or write at the end of a ​letter, etc. to show that you ​hope someone is ​happy and has good ​luck: He ​ended the ​letter "Best wishes, Carlo". Best wishes for a ​speedyrecovery. Withbest wishes, Louise Foster. When you ​see Joyce, ​please give her my good wishes.
  • wish noun [C] (MAGIC)

C2 a ​hope that is made ​real with ​magicalpowers: [+ that] If I could have just one wish I ​suppose it would be that all the ​fighting in the ​world would ​stoptomorrow. Close ​youreyes and make a wish. It's that ​part of the ​story where the ​fairy grants the little ​girl three wishes. May all ​your wishes come ​true.
(Definition of wish from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wish" in American English

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 us   /wɪʃ/

[+ (that) clause] to ​desire some ​situation that is different from the one that ​exists: I wish (that) I didn’t have to go to ​work today. She wished she could ​afford a new ​car. I wish I hadn’t ​eaten so much.
  • wish verb (EXPRESS DESIRE)

[I/T] to ​hope that you will get something or that something will ​happen: [I] I was wishing for ​summer so hard I could ​almost make it ​happen at that ​moment.
  • wish verb (WANT SOMETHING)

fml to ​want something, or ​want to do something: [+ to infinitive] If you wish to ​volunteer to ​work in the ​museum, ​pleaseindicate what ​department you are ​interested in.

[T] to ​expresskindfeelings for someone on a ​particularoccasion: Don’t ​forget to wish her a ​happybirthday. I’m off for the ​interview now – wish me ​luck. His ​oldteammates wished him well (= hoped that he did well).
plural noun  us   /ˈwɪʃ·əz/
an ​expression of ​kindfeelings for someone, esp. on a ​particularoccasion: When you ​see Joyce, ​please give her my ​best wishes.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of wish from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of wish?
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