adjective des·per·ate \ˈdes-p(ə-)rət, -pərt\

: very sad and upset because of having little or no hope : feeling or showing despair

: very bad or difficult to deal with

: done with all of your strength or energy and with little hope of succeeding

Full Definition of DESPERATE

a :  having lost hope <a desperate spirit crying for relief>
b :  giving no ground for hope <the outlook was desperate>
a :  moved by despair <victims made desperate by abuse>
b :  involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration <made a desperate leap for the rope>
:  suffering extreme need or anxiety <desperate for money>
:  involving extreme danger or possible disaster <a desperate situation>
:  of extreme intensity
des·per·ate·ness noun

Examples of DESPERATE

  1. The collapse of her business had made her desperate.
  2. As the supply of food ran out, people became desperate.
  3. We could hear their desperate cries for help.
  4. a desperate struggle to defeat the enemy
  5. He made a desperate bid to save his job.
  6. They made one last desperate attempt to fight their way out.


Latin desperatus, past participle of desperare
First Known Use: 15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: desperatelyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: desperadoismAll Words Near: desperate
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