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

That Christmas classic stars ReRun, the younger brother of Linus and Lucy, who desperately wants a dog for Christmas after seeing how close Snoopy and Charlie are. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Mark Your Calendars! A Charlie Brown Christmas Will Air Tonight," 6 Dec. 2018 Our graying nation desperately needs to diversify and develop housing for older renters and owners, according to Housing Americas Older Adults, a new report from The Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies (JCHS). Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018 The greatest collateral damage from these protections could be the nonpartisan communities and conversations that divided societies most desperately need. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 Now it’s two teams facing off who desperately need to get off to a good start. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "A game-by-game breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks’ 2018 schedule," 3 Sep. 2018 The diarrhea spread, and soon, everyone in the city became desperately sick. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018 Poor writing skills have been identified as the biggest disconnect between academia and what employers need, in some cases desperately. WSJ, "Clear Thought, Practice Yield Clear Writing," 26 Oct. 2018 Not everyone was as desperately poor, but even the most affluent royalty faced high childhood mortality rates and paltry medical care. Michael Hicks, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: We've got it good, and we don't even know it," 24 June 2018 Minnesota desperately misses Miguel Sano’s power bat in the middle of the lineup, and its bullpen has had its own difficulties. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Five truths at the quarter mark of the MLB season," 15 May 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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Statistics for desperately

Last Updated

16 Dec 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).


a knickknack or trinket

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