de·​spair·​ing | \ di-ˈsper-iŋ How to pronounce despairing (audio) \

Definition of despairing

: given to, arising from, or marked by despair : devoid of hope

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Other Words from despairing

despairingly \ di-​ˈsper-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce despairingly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for despairing

despondent, despairing, desperate, hopeless mean having lost all or nearly all hope. despondent implies a deep dejection arising from a conviction of the uselessness of further effort. despondent about yet another rejection despairing suggests the slipping away of all hope and often despondency. despairing appeals for the return of the kidnapped child desperate implies despair that prompts reckless action or violence in the face of defeat or frustration. one last desperate attempt to turn the tide of battle hopeless suggests despair and the cessation of effort or resistance and often implies acceptance or resignation. the situation of the trapped miners is hopeless

Examples of despairing in a Sentence

despairing predictions regarding the effects of global overpopulation despairing applicants need to be reminded that most students are eventually accepted somewhere
Recent Examples on the Web Arguably, Beckett’s point was a bit more fatalistic and despairing than anything the chipper Mr. Ferriss could ever conjure. Joanne Kaufman, WSJ, "‘The Self-Help Compulsion’ Review: Better Living With Beckett," 24 Jan. 2020 Full back Alexander-Arnold provided the assists for both Firmino's goals, the first the opener on 31 minutes, his firm header beating Kasper Schmeichel's despairing dive. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Ruthless Liverpool goes 13 points clear in EPL with rout of Leicester City," 26 Dec. 2019 Several others with professional backgrounds seemed equally despairing. Washington Post, "As winter sets in, Afghans feel the chill of endless peace talk and political paralysis," 27 Dec. 2019 Bologna came out with plenty of fight in the second half, and the hosts took the lead just before the hour mark, Roberto Soriano firing home from the edge of the box beyond a despairing Samir Handanovic., "Bologna 1-2 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as I Nerazzurri Snatch Late Victory," 2 Nov. 2019 Balotelli then silenced his abusers late in the match, scoring an excellent goal from outside the box, curling his effort into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of the Verona goalkeeper., "Mario Balotelli Boots Ball at Verona Supporters & Storms Off Pitch After Racist Abuse," 3 Nov. 2019 This was the despairing prediction of a Kurdish man trying to save his family from the Turkish advance, speaking to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh inside Syria. Stephen Collinson And Caitlin Hu, CNN, "Trump's language is his tell on Syria -- Meanwhile in America," 13 Oct. 2019 Flyhalf Tusi Pisi was charged down by Vladimir Ostroushko and the ball fell in goal about a foot in front of his despairing dive. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Samoa manages yellow cards, beats Russia at Rugby World Cup," 24 Sep. 2019 Centrally positioned around 25 yards out, the Welshman arched a superb bending effort away from the despairing dive of City goalkeeper Ederson and into the top corner - sending the small but raucous Vitality crowd into delirium., "Harry Wilson Shows Liverpool What They Are Missing After Joining Elite Goalscoring Club," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despairing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of despairing

1589, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for despairing

Time Traveler

The first known use of despairing was in 1589

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Statistics for despairing

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Despairing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for despairing


How to pronounce despairing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of despairing

: feeling very sad and without hope : showing or feeling despair


de·​spair·​ing | \ di-ˈsper-iŋ \

Kids Definition of despairing

: having or showing no hope a despairing voice

Other Words from despairing

despairingly adverb

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