adjective Etymology: blend of wishful and obsolete English wistly intently Date: 1714 1. full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy; also inspiring such yearning <
a wistful memoir
2. musingly sad ; pensive <
a wistful glance
wistfully adverbwistfulness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wistful — Wist ful, a. [For wishful; perhaps influenced by wistly, which is probably corrupted from OE. wisly certainly (from Icel. viss certain, akin to E. wit). See {Wish}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Longing; wishful; desirous. [1913 Webster] Lifting up one of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wistful — index pensive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • wistful — 1610s, closely attentive, from obsolete wist intent (c.1500), of uncertain origin. Perhaps formed on the model of wishful. The meaning of yearningly eager is first recorded 1714. Related: Wistfully; wistfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • wistful — [adj] daydreaming, longing contemplative, desirous, disconsolate, dreaming, dreamy, forlorn, hopeless, meditative, melancholy, mournful, musing, nostalgic, pensive, plaintive, reflective, sad, thoughtful, wishful, yearning; concept 403 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • wistful — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing. DERIVATIVES wistfully adverb wistfulness noun. ORIGIN apparently from obsolete wistly intently , influenced by WISHFUL(Cf. ↑wishfully) …   English terms dictionary

  • wistful — [wist′fəl] adj. [altered (modeled on WISHFUL) < earlier wistly, attentive] showing or expressing vague yearnings; longing pensively wistfully adv. wistfulness n …   English World dictionary

  • wistful — [[t]wɪ̱stfʊl[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is wistful is rather sad because they want something and know that they cannot have it. I can t help feeling slightly wistful about the perks I m giving up... He has a wistful look. Derived words:… …   English dictionary

  • wistful — wist|ful [ wıstfəl ] adjective slightly sad because you want to have or do something: a wistful expression/smile a. used when you are thinking about something that made you happy in the past: Miranda felt a wistful longing for the old days. ╾… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wistful — UK [ˈwɪstf(ə)l] / US [ˈwɪstfəl] adjective a) slightly sad because you want to have or to do something a wistful expression/smile b) used when you are thinking about something that made you happy in the past Miranda felt a wistful longing for the… …   English dictionary

  • wistful — adjective a) full of yearning or longing His eyes grew wistful as he recalled his university days. b) sad and thoughtful …   Wiktionary

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