wistful

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Presumably from *whistful, from whist (silent) + -ful, based on older wistly. It is implausible that it derives from wishful, the required sound change being wishful*wisfulwistful, and could not occur in Modern English, particularly not with wishful continuing in use. However, the sense of “longing” appears to be influenced by wishful, with wistful being an ambiguous poetic word.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

wistful (comparative more wistful, superlative most wistful)

  1. Full of yearning or longing.
    His eyes grew wistful as he recalled his university days.
  2. Sad and thoughtful.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ wistful in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • wistful” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2017.