want verb.
1. Want is of Norse origin and came into English in the 13c. The dominant meaning in current usage is ‘to desire or wish for’ (Tom wants a computer for Christmas / What do you want to do now?), and a range of earlier meanings equivalent to ‘to lack or need’ has been reduced to a few uses as in The house wants painting and The standard is sadly wanting (= inadequate), in the expression to want for nothing (or not want for anything), in advertisements (bar staff wanted), and in the non-standard types You want to pull yourself together and You want to go straight on and turn right at the lights (= need to, should). Occasionally the two branches of meaning merge (The organization badly wants better leadership), and it is easy to see how the ‘needing’ branch led to the ‘wishing’ branch.
2. Some special and modern uses of want are:
a) Forms in -ed and -ing in constructions of the type We want our car washed and The roof wants mending are sometimes reversed as We want our car washing and The roof wants mended. These uses are mostly regional or literary in BrE and are non-standard.
b) Want is followed by a that-clause:

You want that I should lose both my lieutenants together? —A. Lejeune, 1986

. This is a chiefly literary use that is not much found in everyday English discourse.
c) Want is followed by for + object + to-infinitive, most often in cases in which want is followed by an intensifying word or phrase such as very much or so much:

My mother wanted so much for my sister to have the best animalsNew Yorker, 1989

d) Want is used for want to, especially in the form if you (etc.) want:

Stay home if you want —Fay Weldon, 1988


Let us not kid ourselves that the solution is to let people drive wherever and whenever they wantYork Press, 2004

e) There is ellipsis of a following verb (come, go, etc.) in the expressions to want in (= to be included) and to want out (= to be excluded):

The message here is once again clearly stated: They want in. She wants outarts website, BrE 2002


Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • want — [wänt, wônt] vt. [ME wanten < ON vanta, to be lacking, want: see WANT the n.] 1. to have too little of; be deficient in; lack 2. to be short by (a specified amount) [it wants twelve minutes of midnight] 3. to feel the need of; long for; crave… …   English World dictionary

  • Want — Want, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Wanted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wanting}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To be without; to be destitute of, or deficient in; not to have; to lack; as, to want knowledge; to want judgment; to want learning; to want food and clothing.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Want — Want …   Википедия

  • Want — Album par 3OH!3 Sortie 8 Juillet 2008[1],[2] Durée 42:47 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Want — (277), n. [Originally an adj., from Icel. vant, neuter of vanr lacking, deficient. [root]139. See {Wane}, v. i.] [1913 Webster] 1. The state of not having; the condition of being without anything; absence or scarcity of what is needed or desired; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Want It — Studioalbum von SheSays Veröffentlichung 1. Juni 2007 Label Virgin Records Format …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • want — I noun absence, conatus, dearth, default, defect, deficiency, deficit, desideratum, desire, destitution, distress, exigency, impoverishment, insufficiency, lack, meagerness, necessitude, necessity, need, needfulness, neediness, paucity, pauperism …   Law dictionary

  • Want — Want, v. i. [Icel. vanta to be wanting. See {Want} to lack.] [1913 Webster] 1. To be absent; to be deficient or lacking; to fail; not to be sufficient; to fall or come short; to lack; often used impersonally with of; as, it wants ten minutes of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • want — want; want·age; want·er; want·less; want·less·ness; …   English syllables

  • Want — Álbum de estudio de 3OH!3 Publicación 8 de julio de 2008 Género(s) Rap rock, Electrónica, Electro rock, Crunk Duración 39:16 …   Wikipedia Español

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