Latin Root: Desire

by Sarah
(Bastrop, Texas)

Dear Latin Teacher,

I was wondering what is the Latin root for desire?

Thanks, Sarah


Dear Sarah,

There are many kinds of desire. Need, longing, lust, craving, and Latin has several words to meet the diversity of meanings.

Straight up Desire (Love, wish, longing, passion; lust; greed, appetite; desire for gain; all of it!) = CUPIDO, CUPIDINIS. The Latin root noun cupido means all kinds of desire. It is also the name of that cute little arrow-shooting son of Venus, aka Eros. The corresponding verb is CUPERE.

Longing, pining away: DESIDERARE is a Latin root verb meaning to long for, to wish for, to miss. Use it to describe that feeling of longing when someone you love is away.

Lusting: LIBIDO, LIBIDINIS is a Latin root noun meaning desire, lust, wantonness, pleasure, passion. Yes, this is your libido, same word used in Enlgish.

Craving: AVIDITAS, AVIDITATIS is Latin root noun meaning desire, greed, covetousness, appetite, even gluttony. Use it to describe those desires that maybe shouldn't be persued.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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Comments for Latin Root: Desire

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Awesome clarification
by: Anonymous

I have referred several times to this post for the distinctions between the various Latin words for "desire". Thanks for such a clear description!

Linda
Latin teacher for homeschoolers

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