The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'wan' and 'want'?

What is the difference between 'wan' and 'want'?

What is the difference between 'wan' and 'want'?

The words wan and want are often confused because they are easy to mistype. We'll explain the difference.

Want means to wish for or to desire (something) when used as a verb.

Wan means pale, sickly-looking when used as an adjective.

A good way to remember the difference is *you wanT Things.

Out of the two words, 'want' is the most common. It appears about 150 times more frequently than 'wan'.



It's easy to confuse words with similar spellings, but it can change the entire meaning of your sentence.

Want can be a verb that means "to desire something, to wish for." It can also be a noun that means "something that is wished for or desired."

Wan is an adjective that means "showing ill health, pallid, lacking in forcefulness, competence, or effectiveness."

Is the correct phrase 'wan crescent scarcely gleams' or 'want crescent scarcely gleams'?

The right expression is 'wan crescent scarcely gleams'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar spelling.

Should I use 'wan countenance grew paler' or 'want countenance grew paler'?

You should use 'wan countenance grew paler'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Which is correct 'hides thy visage wan' or 'hides thy visage want'?

The correct expression is 'hides thy visage wan'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Is the correct phrase 'a wan smile .' or 'a want smile .'?

The correct expression is 'a wan smile .'. These phrases are often confused because they look similar.

Is the correct phrase 'clay Held thy wan' or 'clay Held thy want'?

The correct phrase is 'clay Held thy wan'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Is the correct expression 'for want of' or 'for wan of'?

The right phrase is 'for want of'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Should I use 'waste not, want not' or 'waste not, wan not'?

The correct expression is 'waste not, want not'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar spelling.

Some synonyms of wan are: computer network, wAN, unanimated , weak , pale.

Some synonyms of want are: wish, crave, hunger, need, seek.

Never confuse wan and want again. Install our free grammar checker browser extension.

The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of wanDictionary Definition of want

Examples of wan in a sentence

Wan Young, Class of 1982, holds the record for Longest Operatic Note Held . .
- Special topics in calamity physics by Marisha Pessl
Her face was wan and pale, her eyes tired.
- Mine by Robert R. McCammon
Graeboe made a wan smile.
- Harpy Thyme by Piers Anthony
Recognize you'self inside and you wan the kings among men!
- Invisible man by Ralph Ellison
He released him and watched him sink back.Marty gave a wan smile.
- The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum

Examples of want in a sentence

You sure you want out?”
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
We wouldn't want it to, but . .
- Cropper's cabin by Jim Thompson
Finally, we want to thank you, the readers, for coming along to play in our worlds.
- Touch of Darkness by C. T. Adams; Cathy Clamp
Do you want it in writing?”
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
You don't want to go waving your shotgun at-the dog.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts

Black Friday Sale

Up to

50% off

Browse Offers
Ends Monday, November 30 at 11:59 PST