want

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want / wänt; wônt/ • v. 1. [tr.] have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for: I want an apple | we want to go to the beach | [tr.] she wanted me to go to her room | [intr.] I'll give you a lift into town if you want. ∎  wish to consult or speak to (someone): Tony wants me in the studio. ∎  (usu. be wanted) (of the police) desire to question or apprehend (a suspected criminal): he is wanted by the police in connection with an arms theft. ∎  desire (someone) sexually: I've wanted you since the first moment I saw you. ∎  inf., chiefly Brit. (of a thing) require to be attended to in a specified way: the wheel wants greasing. ∎  inf. ought, should, or need to do something: you don't want to believe everything you hear. ∎  [intr.] (want in/into/out/away) inf. desire to be in or out of a particular place or situation: if anyone wants out, there's the door. 2. [intr.] chiefly archaic lack or be short of something desirable or essential: you shall want for nothing while you are with me. ∎  [tr.] (chiefly used in expressions of time) be short of or lack (a specified amount or thing): it wanted twenty minutes to midnight it wants a few minutes of five o'clock. • n. 1. chiefly archaic a lack or deficiency of something: Victorian houses which are in want of repair it won't be through want of trying. ∎  the state of being poor and in need of essentials; poverty: freedom from want. 2. a desire for something: the expression of our wants and desires. PHRASES: for want of because of a lack of (something): for want of a better location we ate our picnic lunch in the cemetery. ORIGIN: Middle English: the noun from Old Norse vant, neuter of vanr ‘lacking’; the verb from Old Norse vanta ‘be lacking.’ The original notion of “lack” was early extended to “need,” and from this developed the sense ‘desire.’

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wantacquaint, ain't, attaint, complaint, constraint, distraint, faint, feint, paint, plaint, quaint, restraint, saint, taint •spray-paint • greasepaint • warpaint •asquint, bint, clint, dint, flint, glint, hint, imprint, lint, mint, misprint, print, quint, skint, splint, sprint, squint, stint, tint •Septuagint • skinflint • catmint •varmint • spearmint • calamint •peppermint • enprint • screen print •offprint • blueprint • newsprint •footprint • thumbprint • fingerprint •monotint • mezzotint • aquatint •pint • Geraint •Comte, conte, font, fount, pont, quant, Vermont, want •Delfont • vicomte • Frémont •piedmont • Beaumont • Hellespont •passant • poste restante •avaunt, daunt, flaunt, gaunt, haunt, jaunt, taunt, vaunt

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want2 if you want a thing done well, do it yourself proverbial saying, mid 16th century; in 1975, Margaret Thatcher was quoted as modifying this to, ‘In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.’ (Compare if you would be well served, serve yourself.)
if you want something done, ask a busy person modern proverbial saying, late 20th century, implying that a busy person is most likely to have learned how to manage their time efficiently. (Compare the busiest men have the most leisure.)

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want condition or fact of being deficient XIII; lack of the necessaries of life XIV; requirement XVI. Earlier (XII) used as predicative adj. ‘lacking’, ‘wanting’ — ON. *want, vant, n. of vanr lacking, missing.
So want vb. is lacking; be without XII. — ON. *wanta, vanta impers. vb.

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want1 for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the man was lost proverbial saying, early 17th century; late 15th century in French. The saying is often quoted allusively to imply that one apparently small circumstance can result in a large-scale disaster.

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WANT

The absence or deficiency of what is needed or desired.

Want of jurisdiction, for example, is a lack of authority to exercise in a particular manner a power possessed by a tribunal or board.