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1. Full of melancholy longing or wishful yearning: "She seemed wistful for the old days when I'd hung around her all the time" (David Huddle).
2. Expressing sadness or yearning: "She saw the wisftul eyes grow yet more wistful, the lips curve to a pleading smile" (Dorothy Parker).

[Alteration (influenced by wishful) of obsolete wistly, intently, perhaps from variant of whistly, whishtly, silently, from whist, silent, from whist, hush! (interjection calling for silence), from Middle English, of imitative origin.]

wist′ful·ly adv.
wist′ful·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.wistfulness - a sadly pensive longing
longing, yearning, hungriness - prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
حُزْن، كآبَه
reménytelen vágyódás
löngunarfullt/dapurt yfirbragî
özlem çekme


[ˈwɪstfʊlnɪs] N (= thoughtfulness) → lo pensativo; (= sadness) → melancolía f, tristeza f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (of smile, thoughts, look)Wehmut f; (of song)Schwermut f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


(ˈwistful) adjective
thoughtful and rather sad, (as if) longing for something with little hope. The dog looked into the butcher's window with a wistful expression on his face.
ˈwistfully adverb
ˈwistfulness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
It looked at them in a strangely wistful way, after the manner of a dog; but in its wistfulness there was none of the dog affection.
Anne, pierced by the unusual wistfulness of his farewell, ran to the door after him.
I arranged my hair with a curl over the forehead, and threw an air of tender wistfulness into my expression, mingled with a touch of cynicism, which I am told suits me.
'I was on the threshold of great things,' he pleaded, in a voice of longing, with a wistfulness of tone that made my blood run cold.
Uncovering her face, she looked at me with a strange terror in her great eyes; then with a questioning light that was yet more strange, for in it there was a wistfulness I could not comprehend.
"I have prayed that you would remain with us," she said simply, as he leaned from his saddle to clasp her hand in farewell, "and now I shall pray that you will return." There was an expression of wistfulness in her beautiful eyes, and a pathetic droop at the corners of her mouth.
And something of the wistfulness in Tom's face she could see as she recollected it when he talked of his dream of taking up government land.
There had been a wistfulness, so rarely in Martin's voice, that Rose had detected it instantly.
Raising his eyes for a moment from the face of his watch, he rested them upon the opposite bank, reflectively and not without a certain wistfulness, as if the sternness of their gaze were still capable of mitigation.
It seemed that in his speech was a note of wistfulness. I wish, father, that we had taken his hand."
The young man smiled with a certain wistfulness. "Because we can't get ahead here..." (he hesitated an instant), "and because there are added expenses coming.
Into his eyes leaped a wistfulness and a yearning as promptly as the yearning leaps into the eyes of a starving man at sight of food.