American English

Definition of wish noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a desire or a feeling that you want to do something or have something wish (to do something) She expressed a wish to be alone. He had no wish to start a fight. His dearest wish (= what he wants most of all) is to see his grandchildren again. wish for something I can understand her wish for secrecy. wish that… It was her dying wish that I should have it.
  2. 2[countable] a thing that you want to have or to happen to carry out someone's wishes I'm sure that you will get your wish. She married against her parents' wishes. see also death wish
  3. 3[countable] an attempt to make something happen by thinking hard about it, especially in stories when it often happens by magic Throw some money in the fountain and make a wish. The genie granted him three wishes. The prince's wish came true.
  4. 4wishes [plural] wish (for something) used especially in a letter or card to say that you hope that someone will be happy, well, or successful We all send our best wishes for the future. Give my good wishes to the family. With best wishes (= for example, at the end of a letter)
  5. Idioms
    if wishes were horses, beggars would/might ride (old-fashioned) (saying)
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    wishing for something does not make it happen
    your wish is my command (humorous)
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    used to say that you are ready to do whatever someone asks you to do
    the wish is father to the thought (saying)
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    we believe a thing because we want it to be true
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: wish