Desiring or Desirous Usage


Please can you let me know which of the following two usages is more appropriate and why?

The car truly met the expectations of a desiring middle class customer
The car truly met the expectations of a desirous middle class customer

Kindly correct the phrase with a more suitable word if required.

Many thanks

I wouldn’t use either. The alternative would depend on what meaning are you trying to communicate by use of that word though.
Possibly ‘discerning’.

Hi Sweng,

If you want to indicate a sense of ‘wanting’ with an idea of ‘desiring’, I would use ‘covetous’.


Thank you Alan and Beeesneees.

The sentence goes something like this:

I would like to thank you for your efforts in making the car meet the expectations of a desiring / desirous middle class customer.


If you mean that a middle class customer would have a particular expectation of quality, then use ‘discerning’.

It’s a bit of a leap to go from ‘desire’ to ‘discern’. I thought the question was about people who want something rather than want to distinguish between different types of car.


You may think that, Alan.
I am not so convinced, which is why my last post began ‘If you mean…’ rather than just made an assumption.

It’s just one car that’s being referred to here and with a host of new features, it’s basically trying to meet a customer’s needs --This meaning is what I want my sentence to convey

Am actually confused between covetous and discerning now :slight_smile:

A specific customer’s needs or the expectations of all customers who are likely to consider buying this car?


‘Discerning’ indicates that you can make a distinction between one thing and another and ‘covetous’ simply means that you want something very much. They are quite different in meaning.


If you are ‘discerning’ you can make a distinction between things which demonstrates good judgement.
If you are ‘covetous’ you have or show a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else.

‘desirous’ is old fashioned. But in terms of Form not the meaning they covey, which one is correct: ‘desirous’ or ‘desiring’
In my opinion, it is ‘desirous’ as when we describe a young man saying, a courageous young man.

Expectations of all customers in general who may consider buying this car

That is the meaning I thought you intended in the first place. Thanks for the confirmation. In that case, I would be very happy with use of ‘discerning’.

Oxford: having or showing good judgement.
The brasserie attracts discerning customers.

Macmillan: showing good judgment about things and able to tell whether something is valuable or well made.
The discerning reader will appreciate the subtleties of Boyd’s humor.

Merriam-Webster: showing insight and understanding.
She has a discerning eye for good art.

Cambridge Dictionary of American English: able to make or usually making careful judgments about the quality of similar things.
Marion is a discerning judge of good design.


It seems to me that ‘desirous’ could be the right word here but that sentence sounds odd probably because ‘desirous’ is usually placed after the word it modifies and is usually followed by ‘of’. Possibly:

The car truly meets the expectations of middle class customers desirous of buying a (new) car.


Nobody denies that ‘discerning’ would be better than ‘desirous/desiring’ but then so would dozens of other words . The whole point is that the original question was about ‘desiring’ and ‘desirous’ and that’s what I am referring to.


I’m kinda confused with the context of your sentence, but seeing how it’s built, I’d use “demanding”.

That would work too, Billyjoe.