American English

Definition of want noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//wɔnt//
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    something you need
  1. 1[countable, usually plural] something that you need or want She spent her life pandering to the wants of her children.
  2. lack
  3. 2[uncountable, singular] want of something (formal) a situation in which there is not enough of something; a lack of something a want of adequate medical facilities
  4. being poor
  5. 3[uncountable] (formal) the state of being poor, not having food, etc. Visitors to the slums were clearly shocked to see so many families living in want.
  6. Idioms
    for (the) want of something
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    because of a lack of something; because something is not available The project failed for want of financial backing. We call our music “postmodern” for the want of a better word. We went for a walk for want of something better to do.
    in want of something (formal)
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    needing something The present system is in want of a total review.
    not for (the) want of doing something
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    used to say that if something is not successful, it is not because of a lack of effort If he doesn't manage to convince them, it won't be for want of trying.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: want