de·​spon·​den·​cy | \ di-ˈspän-dən-sē How to pronounce despondency (audio) \

Definition of despondency

: the state of being despondent or extremely low in spirits : dejection, hopelessness sank into despondency while he was unemployed

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of despondency in a Sentence

in despondency because he couldn't seem to settle into a lasting relationship in their despondency they seemingly forgot that losing teams can become winning teams in a single season
Recent Examples on the Web For a generation of youngsters who had taken campus recruitment as almost a birthright, the prospect of not having the opportunity of employment is bringing back a despondency that their parents had faced in the decades before the 1990s. S. Gopikrishna Warrier, Quartz India, "Like unchecked growth, economic decline too can have environmental fallouts in India," 20 Jan. 2020 With four straight quarters of pretax losses overseas, there’s no shortage of despondency. Washington Post, "Nomura’s Still Bloated. It’s Time to Cut Deep," 31 Jan. 2019 In the 1970s the despondency was prompted by concerns about overpopulation, environmental damage and the prospect of nuclear immolation. The Economist, "Pessimism v progress," 18 Dec. 2019 Romanians, especially the young and educated, have left the country in droves over the past decade, drawn by better opportunities elsewhere in Europe, but also by despondency over the lack of progress at home. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Voters in Romania Reject Years of Scandals and Chaos," 24 Nov. 2019 The movie incorporates themes relevant to our current grim political environment, but cautions against despondency. Caitlin Mullen,, "Shout Out: Dan Dinello, filmmaker, author of books about movies, popular culture," 22 Oct. 2019 And yet, despite the despondency evident in this transitional phase, the record has plenty of optimism about the future. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Brockhampton Grows Up," 2 Sep. 2019 And so, despondency has become a mainstay of Palestinian life. Dalia Hatuqa / Ramallah, Time, "'Less Space to Breathe.' How Palestinians Are Responding to Netanyahu’s West Bank Annexation Plans," 13 Sep. 2019 And the slow reveal of Leigh’s relationship with Axel and the events that led to her mother’s despondency offer a satisfying payoff. Meg Medina, New York Times, "Dark Magic and Other Escapes in These Summer Y.A. Novels," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despondency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of despondency

1653, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despondency

see despond entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about despondency

Time Traveler for despondency

Time Traveler

The first known use of despondency was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Statistics for despondency

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Despondency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for despondency


de·​spon·​den·​cy | \ di-ˈspän-dən-sē How to pronounce despondency (audio) \

Kids Definition of despondency

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on despondency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for despondency

Spanish Central: Translation of despondency

Nglish: Translation of despondency for Spanish Speakers

Comments on despondency

What made you want to look up despondency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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