Definition of desirable in English:



  • 1Wished for as being an attractive, useful, or necessary course of action.

    [with infinitive] ‘it is desirable to check that nothing has been forgotten’
    • ‘Other desirable hybrid characteristics include good stalk strength and flexible ear size and number.’
    • ‘England is not mentioned specifically as a desirable destination in this specific passage.’
    • ‘An experimental verification of the predictions of the theory would be highly desirable.’
    • ‘Other factors, such as the enhanced capital gains exemption and liability concerns, also make incorporation highly desirable.’
    • ‘Secondary operations raise cost and are not considered desirable to cost-effective pricing.’
    • ‘And carelessness is not a desirable attribute for an institution which is entrusted with children.’
    • ‘As a handgun owner, it's not the most desirable outcome we could have had.’
    • ‘I have already mentioned why a white coat might have been a desirable characteristic.’
    • ‘And, as often happens, the satire was suppressed, making it more desirable.’
    • ‘Designed to bring out the most desirable traits of two apples, hybrids lend versatility to the apple world.’
    • ‘Accordingly, a large depth of field is a very desirable feature in binocular design.’
    • ‘Medicinal herbs are still deemed desirable, but flowers are not mentioned.’
    • ‘You could still be a kept man and still be socially desirable, not be a villain.’
    • ‘From a theoretical point of view it seems desirable to handle these three model components simultaneously.’
    • ‘Multicenter trials seem desirable for a rapid progress in this field of therapy.’
    • ‘Consumers wanted to be subconsciously influenced in a manner they considered desirable.’
    • ‘There is, today, a general recognition that price stability is highly desirable from an economic standpoint.’
    • ‘Obviously, the removal of a dictator by the people themselves is probably the most desirable outcome in these situations.’
    • ‘Whatever happens, the least desirable outcome is for the people to show no emotion at all.’
    • ‘A long half life would be desirable in order for it to be able to build up in all cells.’
    advantageous, advisable, wise, sensible, prudent, recommendable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a person) arousing sexual desire.
      ‘you're a very desirable woman’
      • ‘In the 1950s a bosom was all-important, for as long as a woman had a bosom she was desirable.’
      • ‘He did not want to hurt her, but he did not want her to think she was not desirable.’
      • ‘You are an ice-hockey star, you manage to get a ring on the finger of a most desirable woman - but you tell no-one about it.’
      • ‘You're a very desirable woman and I wouldn't be much of a man if I didn't try to make love to you.’
      • ‘By contrast, Elin appears to be in the spatial centre as she is a popular and sexually desirable young woman.’
      • ‘There's a reason young women are desirable and old women aren't.’
      • ‘Anyone could understand why the world's most desirable women would date wealthy men.’
      • ‘Nicole laughed every time they went out at his inability to grasp the fact that he was desirable to the opposite sex.’
      • ‘The most desirable woman, the most interesting book, neither can hold his attention.’
      • ‘He proved that, although he looks a little like a shy physics teacher, he is in fact a passionate and desirable man.’
      • ‘Was that because you find me desirable and would do as I compelled?’
      • ‘Ninety-two percent of women said dependability is a desirable characteristic in an ideal mate.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the world's most desirable woman in tennis is struggling to improve her game.’
      • ‘I also did it to remind myself that I was desirable, that I could have any man if I wanted, that he wasn't the only man in my life.’
      • ‘It features a model with a modest acting resume, and makes her the most desirable woman to have graced the screen in recent years.’
      • ‘The film's most desirable character uses sex purely to manipulate people and her eyes seem more dead than enticing.’
      • ‘All the hip hop and snide answers only make him even more childish and less sexually desirable.’
      • ‘Roman writers often accused women of wanting to employ a wet nurse only for the sake of maintaining a sexually desirable figure.’
      • ‘I could appreciate she was somehow desirable, without really knowing why.’
      • ‘The truth is many guys are doing all of the wrong things when it comes to becoming more sexually desirable to women.’
      sexually attractive, attractive, beautiful, pretty, handsome, appealing
      View synonyms


  • A desirable person or thing.

    ‘the store sells various desirables’
    • ‘The problem is that the desirables are already hooked up.’
    • ‘Some of the finest footballers on the planet strut their stuff every four years, every two maybe if they are European, but besides genuine desirables there are others who inflict only misery.’
    • ‘State-of-the-art consumer desirables, content or tools, are accompanied with a prescriptive narrative of technological determinism; Buy now to think and act faster, cheaper, clearer and stronger.’
    • ‘In 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, actually coined the term ‘Eugenics’ (good in birth) as a science dedicated to improving human stock by getting rid of so-called undesirables and increasing the number of desirables.’
    • ‘It simply means that those airports have to notify operators that standards do fall below desirables and those operators are aware of those noncompliances.’
    • ‘The focus here is on the production of desirables through means which directly increase available options or extend social repertoires, rather than indirectly doing so as a by-product of an eliminative procedure.’
    • ‘Since then, Jill has progressed to fancy restaurants, the real desirables, the ones where rich people take their rich spouses to eat rich delicacies.’
    • ‘And if a little shopping's what you're after, the Exchange across the road offers off-the-peg designer desirables at affordable prices.’
    • ‘Sausages were also high on the Swiss list of desirables, with six varieties - including one with cheese inside as well.’
    • ‘The highly desirables will be ferried around in cars and put up in the fancier type of chain hotel.’
    • ‘Though… given I always end up with the cute but penniless ones… should I really have a waiter on my list of desirables?’
    • ‘It shows how difficult it is for both boys to achieve their wishes, either to spend the money quickly on consumer luxuries or desirables or, on the other hand, redistribute it.’
    • ‘From being an overlooked, conservative fail-safe, it's shot up near the top of the list of summer desirables.’
    • ‘Mirrors and bathroom scales aren't high on my list of desirables but sometimes you do need to check things out.’
    • ‘We've only recently become aware of the problem, but due to the status afforded our clients, these bands have become the latest desirables, and we all know that's an open invitation for forgeries.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, suggested by Latin desiderabilis, from desiderare to desire (see desiderate).