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Usage statistics for the verb wish:

spoken English43.87%written English56.13% conversational speech40.08%task-oriented speech59.92%
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Wish is sometimes a misspelling of wishes.

The word wish is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Asian woman releasing a sky lantern to wish for good luck.
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Definition of the noun wish

What does wish mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: wishes

  1. a specific feeling of desire
    • examples: he got his wish | he was above all wishing and desire
    • lexical domain: Feelings - nouns denoting feelings and emotions
    • synonyms of wish: want / wishing
    • more generic word: desire = the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state
    • more specific word: velleity = a mere wish, unaccompanied by effort to obtain
  2. an expression of some desire or inclination
  3. (usually plural) a polite expression of desire for someone's welfare
  4. the particular preference that you have
    • examples: it was his last wish | they should respect the wishes of the people
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • more generic words: druthers / preference = the right or chance to choose

Alternative definition of the noun wish


  1. a will for something to happen.
  2. [Sussex] a water meadow.

Definition of the verb wish

What does wish mean as a doing word?

Wish is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: wished | wishing | wishes

  1. hope for; have a wish
    • examples: I wish I could go home now | They wish him to write the letter
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Experiencer] [Verb] [Theme, subject control with infinitive]John oft hankered to move up the corporate ladder
      [Experiencer] [Verb] for [Theme]Danny longs for a sunny day

      Verbs of Desire (with the same syntax): ache, crave, fall, hanker, hope, hunger, itch, long, lust, pine, pray, thirst, yearn.

    • lexical domain: Emotions - verbs of feeling
    • more generic words: desire / want = feel or have a desire for
    • more specific words: desire / trust / hope = expect and wish
  2. prefer or wish to do something
    • examples: They wish him to write the letter | They wish to move
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, for-complement clause]I wished for her to do it
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, noun phrase with past participle]I wished the children found
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, subject control with infinitive]He wished to come
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, that-complement clause]He wished that she would come immediately
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, to be]I wished him to be nice
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, not sentential clause]I wished it

      Wish Verbs (with the same syntax): aim, dream, expect, hope, imagine, intend, mean, plan, propose, think, yen.

    • lexical domain: Emotions - verbs of feeling
    • synonyms of wish: care / like
    • more generic words: desire / want = feel or have a desire for
    • more specific word: please = be the will of or have the will
  3. make or express a wish
  4. feel or express a desire or hope concerning the future or fortune of
  5. order politely; express a wish for
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic word: order = make a request for something
  6. invoke upon

Alternative definition of the verb wish


  1. (with 'for') to hope (for a particular outcome)
  2. [ditransitive] to bestow (a thought or gesture) towards (someone or something)
  3. To request or desire to do an activity.


  1. Wish a.k.a. Wish* is a musical group.
    • album: "Sanctuary"
  2. Wish is a musical group.
    • albums: "Ground Zero Heaven", "Monochrome", "Jane Doe"

There are other groups with in their name, like I Wish, 3rd Wish, Kudzu Wish, Mortal Wish, Def Wish Cast, One Last Wish, One Mile Wish, The Last Wish, Solomon's Wish, Wish for Wings, Death Wish Kids, Gabrielle's Wish, A Wish for Alliance and A Wish for Marilynne.


  1. "Wish" is the ninth studio album by British alternative rock band The Cure, released on 21 April 1992, through Fiction Records in the UK and Elektra Records in the US. The record is the final studio album featuring Boris Williams and the first featuring Perry Bamonte, as well as being the last album featuring Porl Thompson for sixteen years. Although not as well received by critics as Disintegration, Wish is the band's overall highest charting album, given its debut at number one in the UK and number two in the United States, where it sold more than 1.2 million copies. Wish was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1993.
  2. "Wish" is a song from industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails' Broken EP. The track features a drumming work performed by Martin Atkins.
    • also known as Wish (remixed by J.G. Thirlwell), Fist Fuck (remixed by J.G. Thirlwell)
    • music by Trent Reznor
  3. "Wish" is a 1993 album by jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman.
    • genre: Jazz
    • released in (22 years ago)
  4. "Wish" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  5. "Wish" is the fourth studio album by the German pop rock band Reamonn. It was recorded in 2006 and released on April 21, 2006 through Universal Music. All tracks were written by Rea Garvey, Mike Gommeringer, Uwe Bossert, Philipp Rauenbusch and Sebastian Padotzke, the members of Reamonn.
    • genre: Pop rock
    • released on (8 years ago)
    • award: - Echo Award for Best National Rock/Pop Group nomination for Reamonn
  6. "Wish" is the fifteenth single of the Japanese boy band Arashi. The single was released in two editions: a regular edition containing karaoke versions of the songs released in the single, and a limited edition containing a bonus track. The regular edition also contains a hidden track of the group's Secret Talk, in which the members' conversation lasted about forty-two minutes in total before the track was edited down to about thirty-eight minutes.
  7. "Wish" is a 2005 single by Arashi.
    • released on (9 years ago)
  8. "Wish" is the second studio album by Japanese-pop singer Yuna Ito. The album was released on 20 February 2008 on Studioseven Recordings, Sony Music Japan. Wish was released in two versions, CD-only and CD-DVD version. In its first week 49,000 copies were sold. Wish has been certified gold by RIAJ for shipment of 100,000 copies in Japan.
    • also known as WISH (伊藤由奈)
    • genre: J-pop
    • released on (6 years ago)
  9. "Wish" is a composition.
  10. "Wish" is the second solo album of former Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey. Released in 1988, three years after his successful self-titled solo debut, the album was found to be somewhat disappointing and therefore became not as successful as its predecessor.
    • genre: Pop music
    • released in (27 years ago)
  11. "WISH" is a musical album of I WiSH.
    • released on (9 years ago)
  12. "Wish" is an album by Janice Vidal.
    • genre: Cantopop
    • released on (4 years ago)
  13. "WISH" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  14. "Wish" is a musical single of Harumi Tsuyuzaki & Sowelu.
    • released on (17 years ago)
  15. "Wish" is a musical album of S.E.N.S., tv soundtrack.
    • released on (16 years ago)
  16. "Wish" is a musical album of Germ.
    • released on


  1. "Wish" is a 2009 film written and directed by Seong Han Lee.
  2. "Wish" a.k.a. "Hiling" is a 1998 Filipino family fantasy film starring the then child stars Camille Prats, Shaina Magdayao and Serena Dalrymple. The film was directed by the acclaimed José Javier Reyes and released by Star Cinema.
  3. "Wish" a.k.a. "Deseo" is a 2013 short film directed and written by Carolina Cortella.
  4. "Wish" is a film, directed by Divyansh Ganjoo.
    • country: India
    • language: English Language
    • genre: Animation
    • released in
  5. "Wish" is a 2011 film written by Kim Un Ok and directed by In Hak Jang.


  1. Wish: A wish is a hope or desire for something. Fictionally, wishes can be used as plot devices. In folklore, opportunities for "making a wish" or for wishes to "come true" or "be granted" are themes that are sometimes used.
  2. Wish is a Japanese shōjo manga series created by Clamp. It is published in English by Tokyopop. The American translation was imported to Australia by Madman Entertainment.
  3. wish is a simple scripting or interactive Unix shell for the X Window System and Mac OS X. It provides users with the facility to be able to control graphical user interface components via the Tk toolkit, and enables utilization of the Tcl programming language.
  4. Wish is a mental health charity in England and Wales. It was founded in 1987.

Printed books with definitions for Wish

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewElla's Birthday Wish (2010)

by Holly Floyd Hicks

Ella's Birthday Wish is a heartwarming story that is for anybody who has had a family member away at war. This book is a reminder of the sacrifices that are made by military families when a family member is on active duty.

Google previewInterdisciplinarity and Higher Education (2010)

by Joseph J. Kockelmans

Our first wish is that all men should be educated fully to full humanity; not only one individual, nor a few, nor even many, but all men together and single, young and old, rich and poor, of high and lowly birth, men and women — in a word all ...

Google previewBryana's Biggest Wish (2012)

Believe. Give. Imagine. Create. Hope. Love. by Melanee R. Banks

Bryana's Biggest Wish is a one-of-kind adventure set in the magical and colorful Bantu forest.

Google previewManga: The Complete Guide (2012)

by Jason Thompson

Wish is a gem of a series, a breezy breath of fresh air after the dense and dark artwork of X/1999 and Magic Knight Rayearth. The art is by Tsubaki Nekoi, who has a gift for sweetness and chibi characters. The playful rivalry between Kohaku ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Wish

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Usage statistics about wish

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb wish:

spoken English43.87%written English56.13% conversational speech40.08%task-oriented speech59.92% imaginative writing64.27%informational writing35.73%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun wish:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb wish:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb wish and its most common antonym:


Photos about Wish

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View more pictures about A Wish, Death Wish, and Birthday Wish.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Rows of red wind bells. Golden Buddhist prosperity bell at Chinese temple people wish and hang them on red ropes for praying in Hong Kong. Non-English in image means wishing for good luck of traveler.Small photo of Good luck success successful test wish wishing business note paper computer keyboardSmall photo of Writing note showing Welcome 2018. Business photo showcasing Celebration New Celebrate Future Wishes Gratifying Wish written on Tear Cardboard on Plain background on Heart Paper Balls.Small photo of Text sign showing Welcome 2018. Conceptual photo Celebration New Celebrate Future Wishes Gratifying Wish written on Yellow Sticky Note Paper on the plain background Pink Heart next to it.Small photo of Text sign showing Welcome 2018. Conceptual photo Celebration New Celebrate Future Wishes Gratifying Wish written on Sticky Note Paper on the plain background Pen and Mouse next to it.Small photo of Handwriting text writing Welcome 2018. Concept meaning Celebration New Celebrate Future Wishes Gratifying Wish written by Man on Sticky Note paper holding Marker plain background Coffee CupSmall photo of Text sign showing Welcome 2018. Conceptual photo Celebration New Celebrate Future Wishes Gratifying Wish written on Stacked Sticky Note Papers on the wooden background Hearts next to it. More...

Video language resources about Wish

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View more videos about The Wish, You Wish, Half Wish, Last Wish, Wish List, Death Wish, Little Wish, Make a Wish, Wish Fulfilment, and Wish You Were Here.

See also the pronunciation examples of Wish!

Sign language

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Quotes about Wish

i wish upon this lonely star
for you to be mine.
it's not a big wish,
but it's burning my heart and soul.
I hope my wish,
my single wish
Comes true
because Hun,
I wish for you. (Faith Franklin)
more quotes about wish...

Scrabble value of W4I1S1H4

The value of this 4-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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