American English

Definition of want verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//wɔnt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they want
    he / she / it wants
    past simple wanted
    -ing form wanting
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  1. 1(not usually used in the progressive tenses)
  2. wish
  3. 2[transitive] to have a desire or a wish for something want something Do you want some more tea? She has always wanted a large family. All I want is the truth. Thanks for the present — it's just what I wanted. I can do whatever I want. The last thing I wanted was to upset you. The committee wants her as chairperson. want (to do something) What do you want to do tomorrow? “It's time you do your homework.” “I don't want to!” There are two points that I wanted to make. I just wanted to know if everything was all right. (informal) You can come too,if you want. want somebody/something to do something Do you want me to help? We didn't want this to happen. I want it (to be) done as quickly as possible. Notice that you cannot say “want that…”:I want that you do it quickly.When the infinitive is used after want, it must have to:I want study in America. want somebody/something doing something I don't want you coming home so late. want somebody/something + adj. Do you want your coffee black or light?
  4. need
  5. 3[transitive] (informal) to need something want something On these traits, you'll want a mountain bike.
  6. 4[transitive, usually passive] want somebody (+ adv./prep.) to need someone to be present in the place or for the purpose mentioned She is wanted immediately in the principal's office. Excuse me, you're wanted on the phone. see also wanted
  7. should
  8. 5[transitive] want to do something (informal) used to give advice to someone, meaning “should” If possible, you want to avoid alcohol. You don't want to do it like that.
  9. feel sexual desire
  10. 6[transitive] want somebody to feel sexual desire for someone
  11. lack
  12. 7[transitive] want something (formal) to lack something synonym be short of He doesn't want courage.
  13. More Aboutoffers and invitations Would you like…? is the most usual polite question form for offers and invitations:Would you like a cup of coffee? Do you want…? is less formal and more direct:We’re going to a club tonight. Do you want to come with us? Would you care…? is very formal and now sounds old-fashioned.Idioms
    have/want it both ways
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    to have or want to have the advantages of two different situations or types of behavior that are impossible to combine You can't have it both ways. If you can afford to go out all the time, you can afford to pay off some of your debts.
    have/want none of something
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    to refuse to accept something I offered to pay but he was having none of it.
    have/play/take/want no part in/of something
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    to not be involved or refuse to be involved in something, especially because you disapprove of it I want no part of this sordid business.
    have/want no truck with somebody/something
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    to refuse to deal with someone; to refuse to accept or consider something We in this party will have no truck with illegal organizations.
    not want to know (about something) (informal)
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    to take no interest in something because you do not care about it or it is too much trouble I've tried to ask her advice, but she doesn't want to know (= about my problems). “How much was it?” “You don't want to know(= it is better if you don't know).
    waste not, want not (saying)
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    if you never waste anything, especially food or money, you will always have it when you need it
    what do you want?
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    used to ask someone in a rude or angry way why they are there or what they want you to do
    Phrasal Verbswant for somethingwant something from/out of something/somebodywant in/outwant inwant out
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: want