You searched for: “wistful
wishful, wistful
wishful (WISH fuhl) (adjective)
Having or expressing a wish or longing for something to happen or to succeed even though it is not likely to happen or to succeed: "Sylvia often had wishful hopes that she could change her husband's bad habits."

"The idea that the enemy will immediately surrender is nothing more than wishful thinking."

wistful (WIST fuhl) (adjective)
Having or showing sad thoughts and feelings about something that someone wants to have or to do and especially about something that made that person happy in the past: "Lillian had a wistful look on her face and then she asked Lois, 'Do you remember when we used to go to the old playground at our elementary school?'."
A Fishy Tale

They always say the fish they caught
Last year were twice the size,
And make a big production of
Their rods and lures and flies.
They tell the tallest tales, it seems,
Straight-faced and without blinking:
It's not exactly lies, you know,
But rather fishful thinking.

—Harriet Cooper

The wishful thinker often ends up being in a wistful condition.

Word Entries at Get Words: “wistful
wistful (adjective), more wistful, most wistful
1. Deep in sad thoughts; especially, thoughts of something yearned for or lost, or expressing this sad yearning: Shirley had wistful memories when she thought about the times when she was growing up on her father's farm.
2. Full of wishful yearning; pensively sad; melancholy: The wistful music filled Mike with sadness.
3. Etymology: the meaning of "longing, yearning" existed in 1613-1616; formed from obsolete English wist(ly), "intently"; which was of uncertain origin before 1500.

The meaning of "expectantly" or "yearningly eager, longing" was first recorded in 1714.

This entry is located in the following unit: English Words in Action, Group W (page 2)