"wish" is often used if you wish sth to sb. For example: "I wish you a merry x-mas" or "I wish you a happy new year".
"want" is usually used if you would like to express that you want to do sth. For example: "I want to go on holiday".
I do not honestly think that explanations like these can help.Since the questioner has indicated his/her desire to know the difference,both in meaning and usage,between the words "wish" and "want",using the same words could be counter-productive. To me,it sounds like,for example,answering the question "what is education?" with "an act of educating".In my opinion,a wish expresses the desire to do or have something while a want is a need,a necessity.It is possible,for example,for someone to want what he doesn't need...a ten year old asking his father to buy a car for him.(he doesn't need it,though he wants it).
Last edited by rhapsomatrics; 04-May-2006 at 22:59.