Usually the word craving refers to the wish to eat a certain foods. Can it also be used in other contexts? e.g. " I have a craving for Mozart" "I'm craving a comedy film"

  • What did the dictionary tell you? Did it say that it is limited to food?
    – Drew
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:54

3 Answers 3


a "craving" is an intense desire for some particular thing, usually food, substance and activities.

  • "an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing" MW

e.g. "a craving for..."

  • cocaine, heroin, tobacco, alcohol

  • gambling, dangerous sports, adventure

  • pickles, radish, turnips, crayfish, ice-cream, pizza, etc.

  • sex, promiscuous sex

Some pregnant women experience bizarre food cravings.


Yes. As an ex-smoker I can definitively confirm I used to crave cigarettes / smoking!

  • Ah yes cigarettes of course, surprised I forgot such a common use of the word!
    – Enilorac
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:45

"Craving" is often used in non-food contexts. Here is a use from the Odyssey, in the Harvard Classics translation:

Now all the rest, as many as fled from sheer destruction, were at home, and had escaped both war and sea, but Odysseus only, craving for his wife and for his homeward path, the lady nymph Calypso held, that fair goddess, in her hollow caves, longing to have him for her lord.

That said, according to the Google NGram viewer, craving is used much more rarely than "desiring" or "wanting."

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