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

Examples of desperately in a Sentence

all of a sudden everything went desperately wrong
Recent Examples on the Web Americans desperately need a more thoughtful discussion about our response to crime. George Soros, WSJ, 31 July 2022 Those are questions that desperately need to be answered. Eric D. Perakslis, STAT, 13 July 2022 There’s been a lot of coverage of staggering learning losses, largely stemming from remote schooling — losses that desperately need to be made up. Kara Miller,, 11 July 2022 Jones is ninth on this list because of his skill at a position the Tigers desperately need. al, 6 July 2022 Fortunately, most places in the Southwest desperately need the rainfall. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 5 July 2022 The two bands sharing a bill together should be an exuberant, healing affair at a time people desperately need it, Santana suggested. Piet Levy, Journal Sentinel, 5 July 2022 While Democrats desperately need to find a way to reach out to noncollege voters, none of these representatives have found the magic touch to do so. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 4 July 2022 Lifting the barrier to gainful employment, along with the recognition that businesses desperately need more workers, companies are changing their tune on job seekers who have criminal records. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 28 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for desperately

Time Traveler

The first known use of desperately was circa 1547

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Statistics for desperately

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desperately.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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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, The Tale of Despereaux

More from Merriam-Webster on desperately

Nglish: Translation of desperately for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of desperately for Arabic Speakers


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