verb de·spair \di-ˈsper\

: to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change

Full Definition of DESPAIR

intransitive verb
:  to lose all hope or confidence <despair of winning>
transitive verb
obsolete :  to lose hope for
de·spair·er noun

Examples of DESPAIR

  1. Things look bad now, but don't despair.
  2. <we despaired when we saw how little time we had left to complete our project>
  3. Sometimes it is hard not to despair about relations between men and women in American society. They seem to have hit rock bottom. —Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, New Republic, 6 May 2002

Origin of DESPAIR

Middle English despeiren, from Anglo-French desperer, from Latin desperare, from de- + sperare to hope; akin to Latin spes hope — more at speed
First Known Use: 14th century


noun de·spair \di-ˈsper\

: the feeling of no longer having any hope

: someone or something that causes extreme sadness or worry

Full Definition of DESPAIR

:  utter loss of hope <a cry of despair> <gave up in despair>
:  a cause of hopelessness <an incorrigible child is the despair of his parents>

Examples of DESPAIR

  1. His despair nearly drove him mad.
  2. I was overcome by despair at being unable to find them.
  3. She finally gave up in despair.
  4. The people were driven to despair by the horrors of war.
  5. This latest setback has brought her to the depths of despair.
  6. On the occasion of Johnson's tercentenary, Martin (A Life of James Boswell) searches out the psychological elements covered up by Boswell and others: the immense insecurities, bouts of deep depression, corrosive self-doubt and, in his last days, despair for his very soul. —Publishers Weekly, 21 July 2008

Origin of DESPAIR

(see 1despair)
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: despairfulPrevious Word in the Dictionary: despAll Words Near: despair
May 29, 2015
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