des·​per·​ate·​ly ˈde-sp(ə-)rət-lē How to pronounce desperately (audio)
: in a way that involves despair, extreme measures, or rashness : in a desperate manner
struggling desperately
desperately crying out
: extremely, terribly
desperately tired
desperately important

Examples of desperately in a Sentence

all of a sudden everything went desperately wrong
Recent Examples on the Web For your downtime Going out Los Angeles desperately needs a new film festival. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 No one in the convoy was hurt, but much of its contents – mainly wheat flour desperately needed to bake bread – were destroyed. Katie Polglase, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 However, our residents also desperately need financial relief. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2024 Vacillating between allowing the United States to become the world’s leading LNG exporter, and then suddenly putting all of that policy initiative into question, is a sure way to promote worldwide instability and uncertainty at a time when the entire planet desperately needs the opposite. Daniel Markind, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 The second half in Norman might have been that moment for this KU team, as the Jayhawks desperately needed a road win. Shreyas Laddha, Kansas City Star, 18 Feb. 2024 Access to medical services is an area desperately needing improvement for our neighbors in custody. Noah Alcala Bach, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Successful methods to get rid of criminal regimes are desperately needed but vanishingly rare. Quico Toro, The Atlantic, 15 Feb. 2024 But air defense systems to stymie attacks like that are running low, officials have said, and are desperately needed. Marc Santora, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'desperately.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


desperate + -ly entry 2

First Known Use

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of desperately was circa 1547

Dictionary Entries Near desperately

Cite this Entry

“Desperately.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on desperately

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!