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How to pronounce wistful (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of wistful

Having or showing a feeling of longing or sadness mixed with a hint of nostalgia.
"The wistful melody of the song brought tears to her eyes."

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Detailed meaning of wistful

It often implies a bittersweet yearning for something that is now out of reach, whether it's a person, a place, or a time in the past. A wistful person may gaze off into the distance or sigh with a wistful expression on their face, lost in their thoughts and memories. The word "wistful" is often associated with a sense of gentle melancholy, a wistful tone in a person's voice can convey a sense of tenderness and vulnerability. Despite the sadness inherent in the feeling, a wistful mood can also be comforting, as it allows us to revisit happy memories and cherish the good things that have been lost or changed over time.

Example sentences containing wistful

1. She gazed out the window, her wistful eyes lost in distant memories.
2. His wistful smile spoke of longing for days gone by.
3. The wistful melody of the piano transported them to another time.
4. With a wistful sigh, she traced her fingers over the old love letters.
5. He shared a wistful toast to the friends they used to be.
6. The wistful scent of blooming flowers brought back childhood summers.

History and etymology of wistful

The adjective 'wistful' derives its roots from the Old English word 'wist,' which means 'cunning' or 'knowledge.' This Old English term is related to the verb 'witan,' meaning 'to know.' Over time, 'wist' evolved to encompass the sense of 'having knowledge of something,' particularly in the context of longing or yearning for something known or experienced in the past. The suffix '-ful' was added to create 'wistful,' giving it the connotation of having or showing a feeling of longing or sadness mixed with a hint of nostalgia. In essence, 'wistful' encapsulates the idea of yearning for something known or remembered, reflecting a sense of bittersweet nostalgia.

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Further usage examples of wistful

1. Her wistful voice carried the bittersweet tune of nostalgia.
2. The wistful atmosphere of the abandoned house felt like a portal to the past.
3. They exchanged wistful glances, knowing they'd never be the same.
4. In the wistful light of the setting sun, he reminisced about lost opportunities.
5. The wistful look in his eyes revealed a longing for adventure.
6. A wistful breeze ruffled the pages of the old journal.
7. The wistful film captured the essence of a fading era.
8. Their wistful laughter echoed in the empty park.
9. He found solace in the wistful verses of poetry.
10. The wistful tune of the violin evoked memories of a distant homeland.
11. She sent him a wistful text, missing their late-night conversations.
12. The wistful note in her voice betrayed her yearning for companionship.
13. He held onto the wistful hope of reconciliation.
14. The wistful smile on the elderly couple's faces spoke of a lifetime of shared memories.
15. She had a wistful expression as she looked at the old photographs.
16. His wistful smile showed he was lost in thought.
17. The wistful longing for his homeland never left him.
18. She felt wistful as she watched the sun set over the ocean.
19. The wistful scent of lilacs always reminded her of her grandmother.
20. He gave a wistful sigh as he reminisced about his childhood.
21. The wistful look in his eyes told her that he missed her.
22. The wistful tone in her voice made him feel sad.
23. The wistful beauty of the abandoned building was haunting.
24. His wistful glances at her made her heart ache.
25. She felt a wistful pang as she said goodbye to her old home.



longing, satisfied, content, uninterested


Suffix -ful, SAT 19 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Anguish and Despair, Sadness and Misery

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