Definition of wishful in US English:



  • 1Having or expressing a desire or hope for something to happen.

    • ‘He does not understand her, but is moved to see her so earnest and wishful.’
    • ‘He pulled away a little and looked her in the eye and repeated his wishful words as clearly as he could.’
    • ‘It's a simple refusal to acknowledge reality, a wishful desire to escape the order of things.’
    • ‘She starts responding to his wishful blabberings about the future.’
    • ‘Rowan, who had heard such wishful schemes before, tried not to get his hopes up.’
    • ‘Others drew somewhat wishful links between the anti-war movement and the inquiry.’
    • ‘Not out there in some wishful scenario of the future, but in a date nailed down in time.’
    • ‘I began to think that in reality these are wishful words, appearing long before anything resembling order had started to happen.’
    • ‘Jack made all sorts of wonderful plans for their lives together, some more wishful than realistic.’
    • ‘I said in a wishful small voice hoping she'll forgive me and save me the humiliation by just pointing to my desk.’
    yearning, desirous, pining, craving, hungry, thirsty, hankering, avid, covetous
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    1. 1.1 Expressing or containing a desire or hope for something impractical or unfeasible.
      ‘without resources the proposed measures were merely wishful thinking’
      • ‘It seems to be based on wishful thinking rather than scientific evidence.’
      • ‘The link he assumes between local control and sustainable development is based on wishful thinking.’
      • ‘The ties of community are fragile; they are hard to weave but easy to break; they can't be drawn together by wishful thinking.’
      • ‘My conviction is based not on wishful thinking, but on my experiences living in a totalitarian regime.’
      • ‘I suspect his assertion, memorable though it is, was based on wishful thinking.’