wish / wish/ • v. [intr.] feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen: we wished for peace | he wished that he had practiced the routines. ∎ silently invoke such a hope or desire, esp. in a ritualized way: I closed my eyes and wished. ∎ feel or express a desire to do something: they wish to become involved. ∎ [tr.] ask (someone) to do something or that (something) be done: I wish it to be clearly understood. ∎ express a desire for (the success or good fortune) of (someone): they wish her every success. ∎ [tr.] (wish something on) hope that something unpleasant will happen to: I would not wish it on the vilest soul.• n. a desire or hope for something to happen: the union has reiterated its wish for an agreement | it is their wish to continue organizing similar exhibitions. ∎ (usu. wishes) an expression of such a desire, typically in the form of a request or instruction: she must carry out her late father's wishes. ∎ an invocation or recitation of a hope or desire: he makes a wish. ∎ (usu. wishes) an expression of a desire for someone's success or good fortune: they had received kindness and good wishes from total strangers. ∎ a thing or event that is or has been desired; an object of desire: the petitioners eventually got their wish.PHRASES: wish someone well feel or express a desire for someone's well-being.DERIVATIVES: wish·er n. [in comb.] an ill-wisher.