From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Εὔχομαι (Strong'S #2172 — Verb — euchomai — yoo'-khom-ahee )

is rendered "to wish" in  Acts 27:29 (RV marg., "prayed"); so   Romans 9:3; in  2—Corinthians 13:9;  3—John 1:2 , RV, "pray:" see Pray.

2: Βούλομαι (Strong'S #1014 — Verb — boulomai — boo'-lom-ahee )

in  Mark 15:15 , RV, is translated "wishing" (AV, "willing"); so  2—Peter 3:9; in  Acts 25:22 , RV, could wish" (AV, "would"). See Will , C, No. 2.

3: Θέλω (Strong'S #2309 — Verb — thelo — )

in  1—Corinthians 16:7 , RV, is translated "wish" (AV, "will");  Galatians 4:20 , "I could wish" (Av, "I desire"). See Will , C, No. 1.

King James Dictionary [2]

Wish, G

1. To have a desire, or strong desire, either for what is or is not supposed to be obtainable. It usually expresses less than long but sometimes it denotes to long or wise earnestly. We often wise for what is not obtainable.

This is as good an argument as an antiquary could wish for.

They have more than heart could wish.  Psalms 73 .

I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper.  3 John 1:2 .

They cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.  Acts 27 .

2. To be disposed or inclined as, to wish well to anothers affairs. 3. It sometimes partakes of hope or fear. I wish the event may prove fortunate, or less calamitous than we apprehend.


1. To desire. I wish your prosperity.

Let them be driven backward and put to shame, that wish me evil.  Psalms 40 .

2. To long for to desire eagerly or ardently. It has this sense when expressed with emphasis. 3. To recommend by wishing.

I would not wish them to a fairer death.

4. To imprecate as, to wish curses on an enemy. 5. To ask to express desire.

WISH, n.

1. Desire sometimes, eager desire.  Job 33 . 2. Desire expressed.

Blisterd be thy tongue for such a wish.

3. Thing desired. He has his wish.

The difference between wish and desire seems to be, that desire is directed to what is obtainable, and a wish may be directed to what is obtainable or not.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( v. t.) To frame or express desires concerning; to invoke in favor of, or against, any one; to attribute, or cal down, in desire; to invoke; to imprecate.

(2): ( v. t.) To desire; to long for; to hanker after; to have a mind or disposition toward.

(3): ( v. t.) To have a desire or yearning; to long; to hanker.

(4): ( v. t.) To recommend; to seek confidence or favor in behalf of.

(5): ( n.) Desire; eager desire; longing.

(6): ( n.) Expression of desire; request; petition; hence, invocation or imprecation.

(7): ( n.) A thing desired; an object of desire.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

wish  : The word appears both as a substantive and as a verb in the Old Testament, having a variety of meanings: (1) The substantive, פּה , peh , means "mouth" and also "speech." In this form it occurs in   Job 33:6 margin: "Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead." Elihu here refers to Job's expressed desire for an umpire (  Job 9:33 ), and one who would maintain his right with God ( Job 16:21 ). (2) The verb: ( a ) חפץ , hāphēc , "willing," or "desirous" ( Psalm 40:14 the King James Version); ( b ) שׁאל , shā'al , "to ask," "petition," "supplicate" ( Job 31:30 the King James Version); ( c ) another variation of meaning is found in  Psalm 73:7 where משׂכּית , maskı̄th , "to imagine," is translated "wish": "They have more than heart could wish"; ( d ) εὔχομαι , eúchomai , "to solicit," "to implore" ( Romans 9:3 ).