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

According to the complaint, Macoviak desperately tried to regain control of his company as the majority equity holder and restore its governance to a three-person board. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "“He never paid us a cent”—man suing Tesla has his own lawsuit-filled past," 31 Oct. 2018 Their daughter also would not have been shipped alone across the country, leaving them desperately trying to get her back., "Lawmakers seek government list of children separated from families," 2 July 2018 Try desperately to suppress your own opinions and ignore the media’s opinions about whom the Magic should draft. Mike Bianchi,, "Advice to Magic fans: Ignore media and put trust in Jeff Weltman during NBA Draft," 8 June 2018 Almost 1,800 miles south, Maria, the family's 40-year-old matriarch, is being held in a detention center in Texas, desperately trying to figure out how to make her family whole again. Rosa Flores, CNN, "Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US," 5 June 2018 Here's a non-exhaustive list: Rebecca is sick (and possibly dying), Kevin has a son, Nicky is back in the picture, Kate's nowhere to be found, and Toby has a goatee that desperately needs shaving. Glamour, "This Is Us Season 4: Everything We Know So Far," 3 Apr. 2019 This one goes 9-5 (with meals between) without desperately needing to reapply. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "The Gorgeous, Hydrating Lipstick That Won't Budge — No Matter What," 28 Mar. 2019 Those are usually the places where money really is desperately needed. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 Even on days when you're not desperately turned on, making time for masturbation has lots of benefits, from helping you explore your sexuality to relieving stress and even improving your health. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "The Best 7 Masturbation Tips to Get You Super Turned On When You're Solo," 23 Mar. 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

6 May 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).


something valued as if it were money

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