Old English wyscan "to wish, cherish a desire," from Proto-Germanic *wunsk- (source also of Old Norse œskja, Danish ønske, Swedish önska, Middle Dutch wonscen, Dutch wensen, Old High German wunsken, German wunschen "to wish"), from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for." Related: Wished; wishing. Wishing well as an enchanted water hole attested by 1819.
early 14c., "act of wishing," also "what one wishes for," from wish (v.). Cognate with Old Norse osk, Middle Dutch wonsc, Dutch wens, Old High German wunsc, German Wunsch "a wish." Wish fulfillment (1901) translates German wunscherfüllung (Freud, "Die Traumdeutung," 1900).
1610s, from French volition (16c.), from Medieval Latin volitionem (nominative volitio) "will, volition," noun of action from Latin stem (as in volo "I wish") of velle "to wish," from PIE root *wel- (2) "to wish, will" (see will (v.)). Related: Volitional.
"to wish or long for, express a wish to obtain," c. 1200, desiren, from Old French desirrer (12c.) "wish, desire, long for," from Latin desiderare "long for, wish for; demand, expect," the original sense perhaps being "await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere "from the stars," from sidus (genitive sideris) "heavenly body, star, constellation" (but see consider). Related: Desired; desiring.
mid-15c., optatif, "the optative mood," in grammar, a form of a verb expressing wish or desire, from Old French optatif (15c.), from Late Latin optativus, from Latin optatus "wished, desired, longed for," past participle of optare "to choose, wish, desire" (see option). Also mid-15c. as an adjective, "expressing wish or desire by a distinct grammatical form." The general adjectival sense of "expressing or expressive of desire or wish" is by 1610s.