Definition of longing in English:



  • A yearning desire:

    ‘Miranda felt a wistful longing for the old days’
    [mass noun] ‘a tale of love and longing’
    • ‘The seven surviving letters from the period detail these attempts and betray unfulfilled longing.’
    • ‘They combine in her mind, and she feels intense longing.’
    • ‘Our longings go beyond the need for food, clothing and shelter.’
    • ‘The longing for comfort, for deep intimacy, impels the divorced to rush back into a married state.’
    • ‘Genesis 2 implies that God made humanity male and female to satisfy the human longing for companionship.’
    • ‘Give yourself the breathing room necessary to feel your deepest longings and desires.’
    • ‘This looking backward and preference for bygone days involved more than nostalgic or homesick longings.’
    • ‘It signifies the love and longings of the women who make it.’
    • ‘I personally feel there is a deep longing for intimacy and friendship among the young.’
    • ‘She'd suffered the same longing for companionship.’
    • ‘The longings and legitimate desires for approval, acceptance and understanding are cut off.’
    • ‘He had a gift for expressing the longings and anxieties of his contemporary audiences.’
    • ‘I particularly liked the way they felt free to express their feelings and longings through the anonymity of their letters.’
    • ‘Their university days are always recalled with a nostalgic longing.’
    • ‘The longing for a proper home grows stronger and stronger with each passing day.’
    • ‘Maybe it is about trying to satisfy a deep longing in the wrong ways.’
    • ‘Suddenly Guinevere was overtaken by an intense longing for companionship.’
    • ‘I heard their despair and their longings to be freed to return to the life they once enjoyed.’
    • ‘Her poetry is nostalgic and betrays her own longing for her beloved homeland.’
    • ‘These are among the most powerful expressions of human dreams and hopes, ideals and longings.’
    yearning, pining, craving, ache, burning, hunger, thirst, itch, urge, lust, hankering, need, eagerness, zeal, covetousness
    wish, fancy, desire, want
    hope, aspiration, dream
    View synonyms


  • [attributive] Having or showing a yearning desire:

    ‘her longing eyes’
    • ‘The second aspect is the trust of desire, or longing trust.’
    • ‘She cast one more longing look at the tempting bed before she walked to the window.’
    • ‘Throwing my own vehicle a last, longing glance in the Ford tester parking lot, I resigned myself to a long week.’
    • ‘Being famous for something just isn't necessary in his rather longing eyes.’
    • ‘She had a longing look on her face as she stared at the dress.’
    • ‘I saw him because I understood exactly what was being reflected in that longing gaze of his.’
    • ‘She gazed back at the couple in her rear view mirror, a wistful, longing expression in her blue-green eyes.’
    • ‘However, that didn't stop her from throwing longing glances at it over her shoulder as she continued on.’
    • ‘Trey smiled at her apologetically before turning and shooting a longing glance over his shoulder.’
    • ‘After one last longing look at a photo, he blew out the candles.’
    • ‘He gave her one last longing glance, grabbed his duster, and walked out the door.’
    • ‘With one last longing glance to the colorful forests, I followed.’
    • ‘After one longing look down the path, she turned around, and started running back the way she'd come.’
    • ‘Prayer meetings are moving where there is a longing desire and yearning for answers from heaven.’
    • ‘Aspirations and longing feelings colour your reasoning but your power of concentration might be impaired.’
    • ‘Rebecca looked up into his eyes as he took one last longing look at her.’
    • ‘Of course, there are a lot more pratfalls, comedic lines, wacky mishaps and longing glances, but you get the picture.’
    • ‘Sarah would shoot longing looks and bright smiles in Ryan's direction, and Ryan would never notice.’
    • ‘He got up and went out, with one last longing look back.’
    • ‘A longing glance at the lemonade jug told her it was empty.’
    yearning, desirous, pining, craving, hungry, thirsty, hankering, avid, covetous
    wishful, hopeful, wistful
    View synonyms