Definition of wish verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    wish

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//wɪʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɪʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they wish
    BrE BrE//wɪʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɪʃ//
     
    he / she / it wishes
    BrE BrE//ˈwɪʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪʃɪz//
     
    past simple wished
    BrE BrE//wɪʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɪʃt//
     
    past participle wished
    BrE BrE//wɪʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɪʃt//
     
    -ing form wishing
    BrE BrE//ˈwɪʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪʃɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive] (not usually used in the present progressive tense) to want something to happen or to be true even though it is unlikely or impossible wish (that)… I wish I were taller. (British English also) I wish I was taller. I wish I hadn't eaten so much. ‘Where is he now?’ ‘I only wish I knew!’ I wish you wouldn't leave your clothes all over the floor. She really wished she’d stayed on at college. He sat by the phone, wishing it would ring. ‘That’ is nearly always left out, especially in speech. wish somebody/something/yourself + adj. He's dead and it's no use wishing him alive again. wish somebody/something/yourself + adv./prep. She wished herself a million miles away. Grammar Pointwish After the verb wish in sense 1, a past tense is always used in a that clause:Do you wish (that) you had a better job? In more formal English, especially in North American English, many people use were after I, he, she, it instead of was:I wish he were here tonight.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] (especially British English, formal) to want to do something; to want something to happen You may stay until morning, if you wish. ‘I’d rather not talk now.’ ‘(Just) as you wish.’ wish to do something This course is designed for people wishing to update their computer skills. I wish to speak to the manager. I don't wish (= I don't mean) to be rude, but could you be a little quieter? wish somebody something She could not believe that he wished her harm. wish somebody/something to do something He was not sure whether he wished her to stay or go. More Like This Verbs usually followed by infinitives afford, agree, appear, arrange, attempt, beg, choose, consent, decide, expect, fail, happen, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, swear, try, want, wishSee worksheet.
  3. 3  [intransitive] wish (for something) to think very hard that you want something, especially something that can only be achieved by good luck or magic She shut her eyes and wished for him to get better. If you wish really hard, maybe you'll get what you want. It's no use wishing for the impossible. He has everything he could possibly wish for.
  4. 4  [transitive] to say that you hope that somebody will be happy, lucky, etc. wish somebody something I wished her a happy birthday. Wish me luck! wish somebody well We wish them both well in their retirement. More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  5. Word Origin Old English wȳscan, of Germanic origin; related to German wünschen, also to wont.Extra examples ‘Where is he now?’ ‘I only wish I knew.’ I heartily wished that I had stayed at home. I really wish I could go to America. When I see the kids playing football, I almost wish I was their age again. I wish I hadn’t eaten so much. I wish you wouldn’t leave your clothes all over the floor. You may stay until morning, if you wish.Idioms (informal) used to say that something is impossible or very unlikely, although you wish it were possible synonym if only ‘You'll have finished by tomorrow.’ ‘I wish!’ Phrasal Verbswish something awaywish somebody on somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: wish