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illustration Desideratum



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, mid-17th century


Something that is needed or wanted.

Examples of Desideratum in a sentence

"A sense of humor is my first desideratum in a partner."

"I don't care about the monetary award, but my desideratum is recognition of the clean-water program."

About Desideratum

Desideratum describes 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 title is a plural of the word "desideratum," which means "something that is needed or wanted." The desideratum of the poem is clear in the last lines: "Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

illustration Desideratum

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