Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, mid 17th century
Something that is needed or wanted.
Examples of Desideratum in a sentence
"Critical thinking skills are the desiderata of basic education."
"I don't care about the monetary award, but my desideratum is recognition of the clean-water program."
Desideratum is a want or a need, but it goes beyond needing a gallon of milk from the grocery. It usually applies to a philosophical need, or the ultimate desire or outcome. As it comes from the Latin for "something desired," the plural is "desiderata."
Did you Know?
Desiderata is a poem written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann. It rose in popularity in the 1960s, even being recorded by Leonard Nimoy as "Spock Thoughts." The desideratum is clear in the last lines: "Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."