1. To be absent; to be deficient or lacking; to fail; not to be sufficient; to fall or come short; to lack; often used impersonally with of; as, it wants ten minutes of four. The disposition, the manners, and the thoughts are all before it; where any of those are wanting or imperfect, so much wants or is imperfect in the imitation of human life. (Dryden)
2. To be in a state of destitution; to be needy; to lack. You have a gift, sir (thank your education), Will never let you want. (B. Jonson) For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind. (pope)
Origin: Icel. Vanta to be wanting. See Want to lack.
1. The state of not having; the condition of being without anything; absence or scarcity of what is needed or desired; deficiency; lack; as, a want of power or knowledge for any purpose; want of food and clothing. And me, his parent, would full soon devour For want of other prey. (milton) From having wishes in consequence of our wants, we often feel wants in consequence of our wishes. (Rambler) Pride is as loud a beggar as want, and more saucy. (Franklin)
Origin: Originally an adj, from Icel. Vant, neuter of vanr lacking, deficient. See Wane. The state of needing something that is absent or unavailable; there is a serious lack of insight into the problem; water is the critical deficiency in desert regions; for want of a nail the shoe was lost.