What is want?

  • (noun): A state of extreme poverty.
    Synonyms: privation, deprivation
    See also — Additional definitions below


The idea of want can be examined from many perspectives. In secular societies want might be considered similar to the emotion desire, which can be studied scientifically through the disciplines of psychology or sociology. Want might also be examined in economics as a necessary ingredient in sustaining and perpetuating capitalist societies that are organised around principles like consumerism. Alternatively want can be studied in a non-secular, spiritual, moralistic or religious way, particularly by Buddhism but also Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Read more about Want.

More definitions of "want":

  • (verb): Hunt or look for; want for a particular reason.
    Example: "Your former neighbor is wanted by the FBI"; "Uncle Sam wants you"
  • (verb): Feel or have a desire for; want strongly.
    Example: "I want to go home now"; "I want my own room"
    Synonyms: desire
  • (noun): The state of needing something that is absent or unavailable.
    Example: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost"
    Synonyms: lack, deficiency
  • (verb): Be without, lack; be deficient in.
    Example: "Want courtesy"; "want the strength to go on living"; "flood victims wanting food and shelter"
  • (noun): Anything that is necessary but lacking.
    Synonyms: need
  • (noun): A specific feeling of desire.
    Synonyms: wish, wishing
  • (verb): Wish or demand the presence of.
    Example: "I want you here at noon!"

Famous quotes containing the word want:

    If I can think of it, it isn’t what I want.
    I want . . . I want a ship from some near star
    To land in the yard,
    Randall Jarrell (1914–1965)

    I always knew I wanted to be somebody. I think that’s where it begins. People decide, “I want to be somebody. I want to make a contribution. I want to leave my mark here.” Then different factors contribute to how you will do that.
    Faith Ringgold (b. 1934)

    Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.
    Eric Hoffer (1902–1983)