WishHere’s a word that probably should be used more often. It tends to pop up in philosophical texts, but I think most people have experienced velleity. It certainly strikes a chord with me…

A velleity is a “wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action” (Oxford Dictionaries). It means to will or desire without actually making an effort to act on that will or desire.

It stems from the Latin word velle, which means ‘to wish’. Use of velleity appears to have been fairly common in the 17th century, and the OED gives its first recorded usage as in 1624 (although it was spelled velleitie). This usage is a little more modern:

“I am finding that I have more and more velleities these days, and one of them is the velleity to travel, a hopeless longing to just peregrinate off somewhere.”

– Sam Savage, Glass, 2011