From Middle English wisshen, from Old English wȳscan (“to wish”), from Proto-Germanic *wunskijaną (“to wish”), from Proto-Indo-European *wun-, *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 óska (“to wish”), Latin Venus, veneror (“venerate, honour, love”).
wish (plural wishes)
- a desire, hope, or longing for something or for something to happen
- an expression of such a desire etc.
- the process of expressing or thinking about such a desire etc. (often connected with ideas of magic and supernatural power(s)
- the thing desired or longed for
- Your dearest wish will come true.
- 1901, W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey's Paw
- "I suppose all old soldiers are the same," said Mrs White. "The idea of our listening to such nonsense! How could wishes be granted in these days? And if they could, how could two hundred pounds hurt you, father?" / "Might drop on his head from the sky," said the frivolous Herbert.
- (Sussex) a water meadow.
- Collocates with make for the common expression make a wish. See Appendix:Collocations of do, have, make, and take
- (transitive) To desire; to want.
- I'll come tomorrow, if you wish it.
- William Shakespeare
- I would not wish / Any companion in the world but you.
- (intransitive, followed by for) To hope (for a particular outcome).
- (transitive, with two objects) To bestow (a thought or gesture) towards (someone or something).
- We wish you a Merry Christmas.
- (followed by to and an infinitive) To request or desire to do an activity.
2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
- Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
- (transitive) To recommend; to seek confidence or favour on behalf of.
- Ben Jonson
- I was wished to your worship by a gentleman.
- Ben Jonson
- In sense 4, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs