- Something that is needed or wanted.
“After switching majors three times, she found that her desideratum was to help children as a kindergarten teacher.”
“My desideratum is not to make lots of money to be rich, but instead to retire comfortably close to my grandchildren.”
“Many people find a desideratum through travel, meditation, or some other self-reflection practice.”
Latin, mid-17th century
Why this word?
“Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” This line, from the 1927 poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, touches on a fundamental desire for many people. And that’s what a desideratum is — it’s a philosophical need or want that goes deeper than the current moment. “Desideratum” is the singular of the Latin-based word, and “desiderata” is the plural.
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