des·​per·​ate·​ly | \ ˈde-sp(ə-)rət-lē How to pronounce desperately (audio) , -spərt-\

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

In the final, harrowing seconds of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, the pilots tried desperately to keep their Boeing 737 Max aloft. Editors, USA TODAY, "Kevin Spacey trial, Wimbledon and a bossa nova legend: 5 things you need to know Monday," 8 July 2019 So many semi-anonymous voices make so much noise, all clamoring desperately for attention, for real-time appreciation, for responses that can be numerically valued. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The DMCA bell did not toll for a beloved musician—thus, I could grieve him," 6 July 2019 His parents were London performers in England and desperately poor., "The arts help us honor the past and envision the future: Sun Messages," 6 July 2019 Speechless, Orr desperately grabbed line with his right hand and held onto the rod with his left., "Monroe: Ocean fishing has vastly improved this summer," 6 July 2019 Most look crisp and compelling, offering a vital history lesson during a time when America could desperately use something to unite around and celebrate. John Wenzel, The Denver Post, "A Denver sculptor was the first black man trained as an astronaut ahead of Apollo 11, but he never made it to space," 5 July 2019 Some of them, including cobalt, are mined by hand, reportedly sometimes by children, in desperately poor countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Andrew Mcafee, WIRED, "How the iPhone Helped Save the Planet," 29 June 2019 Drawing inspiration from the real-life relationship between Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter Pegeen, Maum reveals the power a mother holds over her daughter as Lara desperately vies for Leonora’s attention. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Here Are the 6 New Fiction Books You Should Read in July," 28 June 2019 Suffice to say that the naked ape, in a desperately calm maneuver, with a finger-grab on sandstone, retrieved the favorite old canyon hat. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "Ramblin’ Man," 24 June 2019

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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Statistics for desperately

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce desperately (audio) , -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).


food or victuals

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