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Want vs Desire: difference....?

Today i was questioned about the difference in WANT and DESIRE.


This really got me to think hard about it.
Prima facie we would think that they have the same meaning.In fact, most of the people  including me often use them synonymously.
But after surfing on it i gotta know that they are different..!!

So, let's take a closer look at the two. 

According to, the two are defined as follows:

Want- (Noun) A lack or deficiency of something; (verb) Have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for; (adj) Lacking in a certain required or necessary quality; Not existing or supplied; absent

Desire- (Noun) A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen; a yearning; a longing; a craving; an aspiration (verb) to strongly wish for something

Did you notice anything different in the meanings of the two words? 


The term desire carries a stronger feeling for something than a want does. So, why stronger?

Let's look at some example:

Right now I want a piece of  dairy milk. To me, this means that right now I don't have it, and if I get it, that's fine, but if I don't get it, that's fine too. My feelings are not that strong with wanting a piece of  dairy milk.

This seems a want comes and goes and sometimes is forgotten altogether over time. 

But if I desire something, that feeling, which is stronger and has deeper rewards, stays there until it is satisfied. For example, I desire to be an entreprenuer. That feeling has been there for quite some time and will remain there. Because it is a desire, it will not be forgotten over time nor will it pass as though it were some sort of passing fancy. 

Desires are in the heart. They are more heartfelt and permanent
Wants are in the head. They can be temporary or momentarily.

So, referring back to the examples that I gave above, having that piece of dairy milk is something that is just in my head for the moment. It is a mere passing thought, so to speak. But being an entreprenuer is something that I carry in my heart. It is heartfelt; a yearning that is deep inside of me. I can't let it go and it won't let me go.

Edited by: Harshita jain 
source    : Sandstone


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