Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse vanta; akin to Old English wan deficient
Date: 13th century
1. to be needy or destitute
2. to have or feel need <never wants for friends> 3. to be necessary or needed 4. to desire to come, go, or be <the cat wants in> <wants out of the deal> transitive verb 1. to fail to possess especially in customary or required amount ; lack <the answer wanted courtesy> 2. a. to have a strong desire for <wanted a chance to rest> b. to have an inclination to ; like <say what you want, he is efficient> 3. a. to have need of ; require <the motor wants a tune-up> b. to suffer from the lack of <thousands still want food and shelter> 4. ought — used with the infinitive <you want to be very careful what you say — Claudia Cassidy> 5. to wish or demand the presence of 6. to hunt or seek in order to apprehend <wanted for murder> Synonyms: see desire II. noun Date: 13th century 1. a. deficiency, lack <suffers from a want of good sense> b. grave and extreme poverty that deprives one of the necessities of life 2. something wanted ; need, desire 3. personal defect ; fault Synonyms: see poverty
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.