Desire is a sense of longing for a person or object or hoping for an outcome. The same sense is expressed by emotions such as "craving" or "hankering". When a person desires something or someone, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of the item or person, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal. The motivational aspect of desire has long been noted by philosophers; Hobbes (1588–1679) asserted that human desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action.

In Buddhism, for an individual to effect his or her liberation, the flow of sense-desire must be cut completely; however, while training, he or she must work with motivational processes based on skilfully applied desire. The Buddha stated, according to the early Buddhist scriptures, that monks should "generate desire" for the sake of fostering skillful qualities and abandoning unskillful ones.

While desires are often classified as emotions by laypersons, psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions; psychologists tend to argue that desires arise from bodily structures, such as the stomach's need for food, whereas emotions arise from a person's mental state. Marketing and advertising companies have used psychological research on how desire is stimulated to find more effective ways to induce consumers to buy a given product or service. While some advertising attempts to give buyers a sense of lack or wanting, other types of advertising create desire associating the product with desirable attributes, either by showing a celebrity or model with the product.

The theme of desire is at the core of the romance novel, which often create drama by showing cases where human desire is impeded by social conventions, class, or cultural barriers. As well, it is used in other literary genres, such as gothic novels such as Dracula by Bram Stoker, in which desire is mingled with fear and dread. Poets ranging from Homer to Toni Morrison have dealt with the themes of desire in their work. Just as desire is central to the written fiction genre of romance, it is the central theme of melodrama films, which use plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience by showing "crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship", in which desire is thwarted or unrequited.

Read more about Desire:  In Philosophy, In Marketing

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Famous quotes containing the word desire:

    If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.
    Epictetus (c. 50–120)

    And desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.
    Bible: Hebrew Ecclesiastes 12:5.

    Ye whose clay-cold heads and luke-warm hearts can argue down or mask your passions—tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them?... If nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece—must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)