des·per·ate·ly | \ˈdes-p(ə-)rət-lē, -pərt-\

Definition of desperately 

1 : in a way that involves despair, extreme measures, or rashness : in a desperate manner struggling desperately desperately crying out

2 : extremely, terribly desperately tired desperately important

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Examples of desperately in a Sentence

all of a sudden everything went desperately wrong

Recent Examples on the Web

Certainly there are children all around the world trapped in scary situations who desperately need help. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A sociologist explains why we make spectacle out of trauma like the Thai cave boys," 11 July 2018 Hardy and Wyatt desperately need a team that can challenge them and contrast their style, but the best fit is the New Day, who are not on the Raw roster. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: Tama Tonga Says Bullet Club Civil War ‘Has Been a Long Time Coming’," 11 July 2018 The Orioles, on a six-game losing streak, desperately need a win. The Baltimore Sun,, "Orioles on deck: What to watch in Monday's doubleheader vs. Yankees, plus lineups and more," 9 July 2018 Despite his inconsistent play, Wagner is widely considered one of the top right tackles in football, and the Lions desperately need him to play up to that level this fall. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions 2018 most important: No. 14 Rick Wagner a top RT in NFL," 3 July 2018 Rudolph's blog has been a resource LGBTQ+ parents desperately need, and on top of giving them advice, she's also given LGBTQ+ parents a day to publicly celebrate their families., "Stop Everything And Look At These Adorable LGBTQ+ Families," 4 June 2018 Companies must address the challenges and implement solutions to get drugs to market faster and offer treatments to patients who desperately need them. Mary Jo Lamberti, STAT, "Clinical trials take a long time to get started. Here’s how to speed it up," 28 Mar. 2018 While European clubs desperately seek new fans in Asia to watch their games and buy their jerseys, Chinese companies are trying to increase their profile in the West through soccer. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "The World Cup Final’s Unconventional Start Time," 13 July 2018 Her friends advised her to get injections in her nipple — the substance of the injection unknown — a common, cheap procedure, often performed by friends, that trans women desperately seek to help them feel more at home in their bodies. Alice Driver, Longreads, "The Road to Asylum," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desperately.' 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 desperately

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for desperately

see desperate

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for desperately

The first known use of desperately was circa 1547

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More Definitions for desperately


des·per·ate·ly | \ˈde-spə-rət-lē, -sprət-lē\

Kids Definition of desperately

1 : in a way showing great worry and weakening hope They desperately called for help.

2 : in such a way as to leave little hope He became desperately ill.

3 : with great intensity … I wished desperately that I knew where my mama was …— Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie

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Comments on desperately

What made you want to look up desperately? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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