Definition of wishful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɪʃfʊl/


1Having or expressing a desire or hope for something to happen: I had heard the same wishful tone over the phone
More example sentences
  • I said in a wishful small voice hoping she'll forgive me and save me the humiliation by just pointing to my desk.
  • It's a simple refusal to acknowledge reality, a wishful desire to escape the order of things.
  • Rowan, who had heard such wishful schemes before, tried not to get his hopes up.
1.1Based on impractical wishes rather than facts: without resources the proposed measures were merely wishful thinking
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • My conviction is based not on wishful thinking, but on my experiences living in a totalitarian regime.



Pronunciation: /ˈwɪʃfʊli/ /ˈwɪʃf(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • ‘Oh, coffee,’ she said wishfully, ‘I'd love a cup of coffee right now.’
  • ‘Surely supper will be ready soon,’ he muttered wishfully.
  • However much he may wishfully assert that stoic silence is a noble virtue, his distress in the first instance is caused by enforced silence and its accompanying feeling of personal oblivion.


Pronunciation: /ˈwɪʃfʊlnəs/ /ˈwɪʃf(ə)lnəs/
Example sentences
  • There's a sort of wistful wishfulness even to the union leaders arguing in favour of it.
  • Now, I wonder if this is plain wishfulness or actually a faulty media plan (one that a good media planner buying time for a package-goods client wouldn't make).
  • But such wishfulness seems to pay off at the box office and in the ratings.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wish|ful

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