• To desire; to want.
  • To hope (+ object clause with may or in present subjunctive).
  • To hope (for a particular outcome), even if that outcome is unlikely to occur or cannot occur.
  • To bestow (a thought or gesture) towards (someone or something).
  • To request or desire to do an activity.
  • To recommend; to seek confidence or favour on behalf of.


  • From Middle English wisshen, wischen, wuschen, from Old English wȳsċan ("to wish"), from Proto-West Germanic *wunskijan, from Proto-Germanic *wunskijaną ("to wish"), from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- ("to wish, love").
  • Cognate with Scots wis ("to wish"), Saterland Frisian wonskje ("to wish"), West Frisian winskje ("to wish"), Dutch wensen ("to wish"), German wünschen ("to wish"), Danish ønske ("to wish"), Icelandic æskja, óska, Latin Venus, veneror.

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