Definition of desirable in English:



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

    [with infinitive] ‘it is desirable to exercise some social control over technology’
    • ‘A long half life would be desirable in order for it to be able to build up in all cells.’
    • ‘Obviously, the removal of a dictator by the people themselves is probably the most desirable outcome in these situations.’
    • ‘England is not mentioned specifically as a desirable destination in this specific passage.’
    • ‘Accordingly, a large depth of field is a very desirable feature in binocular design.’
    • ‘Whatever happens, the least desirable outcome is for the people to show no emotion at all.’
    • ‘Other desirable hybrid characteristics include good stalk strength and flexible ear size and number.’
    • ‘Secondary operations raise cost and are not considered desirable to cost-effective pricing.’
    • ‘An experimental verification of the predictions of the theory would be highly desirable.’
    • ‘Medicinal herbs are still deemed desirable, but flowers are not mentioned.’
    • ‘And, as often happens, the satire was suppressed, making it more desirable.’
    • ‘There is, today, a general recognition that price stability is highly desirable from an economic standpoint.’
    • ‘As a handgun owner, it's not the most desirable outcome we could have had.’
    • ‘You could still be a kept man and still be socially desirable, not be a villain.’
    • ‘Designed to bring out the most desirable traits of two apples, hybrids lend versatility to the apple world.’
    • ‘I have already mentioned why a white coat might have been a desirable characteristic.’
    • ‘Other factors, such as the enhanced capital gains exemption and liability concerns, also make incorporation highly desirable.’
    • ‘From a theoretical point of view it seems desirable to handle these three model components simultaneously.’
    • ‘Consumers wanted to be subconsciously influenced in a manner they considered desirable.’
    • ‘And carelessness is not a desirable attribute for an institution which is entrusted with children.’
    • ‘Multicenter trials seem desirable for a rapid progress in this field of therapy.’
    advantageous, advisable, wise, sensible, prudent, recommendable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a person) arousing sexual desire.
      ‘she had never looked more desirable’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the world's most desirable woman in tennis is struggling to improve her game.’
      • ‘Roman writers often accused women of wanting to employ a wet nurse only for the sake of maintaining a sexually desirable figure.’
      • ‘He proved that, although he looks a little like a shy physics teacher, he is in fact a passionate and desirable man.’
      • ‘He did not want to hurt her, but he did not want her to think she was not desirable.’
      • ‘Anyone could understand why the world's most desirable women would date wealthy men.’
      • ‘All the hip hop and snide answers only make him even more childish and less sexually desirable.’
      • ‘I could appreciate she was somehow desirable, without really knowing why.’
      • ‘Nicole laughed every time they went out at his inability to grasp the fact that he was desirable to the opposite sex.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the 1950s a bosom was all-important, for as long as a woman had a bosom she was desirable.’
      • ‘The most desirable woman, the most interesting book, neither can hold his attention.’
      • ‘The truth is many guys are doing all of the wrong things when it comes to becoming more sexually desirable to women.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's a reason young women are desirable and old women aren't.’
      • ‘By contrast, Elin appears to be in the spatial centre as she is a popular and sexually desirable young woman.’
      sexually attractive, attractive, beautiful, pretty, handsome, appealing
      View synonyms


  • A desirable person, thing, or quality.

    • ‘The highly desirables will be ferried around in cars and put up in the fancier type of chain hotel.’
    • ‘Sausages were also high on the Swiss list of desirables, with six varieties - including one with cheese inside as well.’
    • ‘The problem is that the desirables are already hooked up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though… given I always end up with the cute but penniless ones… should I really have a waiter on my list of desirables?’
    • ‘Mirrors and bathroom scales aren't high on my list of desirables but sometimes you do need to check things out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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