Looking for a word for longing, yearning I found желание and стремление. However, these seem somehow too shallow for the given use case.

Actually I'd like to use тоска but this word possibly has a negative or melancholic connotation which is also not what I'm looking for. Is that so?

  • Is there any other alternative to express a profound yearning / longing?

  • What verb would be used with тоска and/or any alternative to say quench the yearning?

4 Answers 4


"тоска", mysterious as it is, is associated with melancholical, kinda depressing yearning for thing to be better/more in line with what you want. SO it may mean two things: "yearning/depression" and just "boredom" (then it is the same as "скука")

If what you mean is a strong, emotionally "painful" desire for something that is, perhaps, out of your reach, and has been so, then "тоска" is kind of a right word. "Заглушить тоску" will work (though, I just made it up, and it sounds as a "temporary" solution).

Желание is "wish, desire" and "стремление" is more like "striving, aspiration" and even "intention" in some context, i.e. something that makes you strive for something (whil "тоска" is a passive thing)

So.. what is the meaning of your "quench the yearning"? Is it the same as "quench your thirst" (satisfy it) or "quench the disire" ("kill" it). Or maybe "shut off" your desire if only temporary?

The alternative words for profound yearnung:

  • острое/сильное желание
  • жажда (lit. "thirst", a strong and sometimes active desire)
  • стремление (if it is active! And only then)
  • for something that is, perhaps, out of your reach ... and it sounds as a "temporary" solution okay, I see. Then maybe rather воплотить желание or утолять жажду. If these can be put/understood in a non fleshly sense, that'd be fine.
    – user3538
    May 19, 2014 at 1:26
  • "воплотить" explicitly means that you fulfil your desire, make it real (плоть = flesh, i.e. make your "dream" a material, "physical" thing). "Утолить" is kinda ambiguus in just how permanent it is, but also suggests that you use a "direct approach", i.e. do just the thing you desire. Is this really the meaning you hand in mind?
    – Shady_arc
    May 19, 2014 at 18:36
  • as you point it out, I'll stick to воплотить желание. Seems to fit best. Can I use выполнение in a similar, general way for fulfillment of желания or is that impossible?
    – user3538
    May 20, 2014 at 4:04
  • The verb "выполнять" (from which the noun "выполнение" is formed) is more like "to carry out, to implement, to execute". To do something according to some instructions You can "выполнять" commands or other people's wishes, but with your own that doesn't sound right. There is also "исполнять" — to fulfil or grant wish (someone else). Djinns often do this :). So, long story short, "выполнение" only works when someone carries out an instruction or wish when told so by someone else. Исполнение can work both ways.
    – Shady_arc
    May 20, 2014 at 12:07
  • You can also use "Желание исполнилось/сбылось" ("The wish has come true") just not to bother with these awkward constructions.
    – Shady_arc
    May 20, 2014 at 12:08

if what you're after is both longing and yearning, then тоска fits the bill


'Влечение' and its weaker form 'увлечение'. Both could be used to express yearning/longing to something or somebody (with 'влечение', in the latter case it could also bear subtle sexual context).


You could try "стремительное желание" if that works for you. One word translations are sometimes inadequate. English tends to be a bit more terse/efficient - able to get more meaning into a smaller space.

  • Спасибо, очень смешно! :) Я бы все-таки переставил слова местами: сильное желание, страстное стремление, страстное желание, сильное стремление.
    – Artemix
    May 19, 2014 at 17:43

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