Definition of longing in English:



  • A yearning desire.

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


  • Having or showing yearning desire.

    ‘her longing eyes’
    • ‘However, that didn't stop her from throwing longing glances at it over her shoulder as she continued on.’
    • ‘He gave her one last longing glance, grabbed his duster, and walked out the door.’
    • ‘Prayer meetings are moving where there is a longing desire and yearning for answers from heaven.’
    • ‘Trey smiled at her apologetically before turning and shooting a longing glance over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Rebecca looked up into his eyes as he took one last longing look at her.’
    • ‘Throwing my own vehicle a last, longing glance in the Ford tester parking lot, I resigned myself to a long week.’
    • ‘The second aspect is the trust of desire, or longing trust.’
    • ‘A longing glance at the lemonade jug told her it was empty.’
    • ‘She gazed back at the couple in her rear view mirror, a wistful, longing expression in her blue-green eyes.’
    • ‘After one last longing look at a photo, he blew out the candles.’
    • ‘She had a longing look on her face as she stared at the dress.’
    • ‘After one longing look down the path, she turned around, and started running back the way she'd come.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She cast one more longing look at the tempting bed before she walked to the window.’
    • ‘Aspirations and longing feelings colour your reasoning but your power of concentration might be impaired.’
    • ‘With one last longing glance to the colorful forests, I followed.’
    • ‘Being famous for something just isn't necessary in his rather longing eyes.’
    • ‘I saw him because I understood exactly what was being reflected in that longing gaze of his.’
    yearning, desirous, pining, craving, hungry, thirsty, hankering, avid, covetous
    wishful, hopeful, wistful
    View synonyms