de·​spon·​den·​cy di-ˈspän-dən-sē How to pronounce despondency (audio)
: the state of being despondent or extremely low in spirits : dejection, hopelessness
sank into despondency while he was unemployed

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 The summer that just blazed by belonged unequivocally to the girls and girlies, cultural archetypes who embodied, in their despondency and their delight, the incongruities of being young and female in America. Iva Dixit, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 The general despondency among young Chinese is already hamstringing the economy. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 Eventually, popular despondency and disillusionment may come. Maurizio Valsania, The Conversation, 3 Dec. 2021 Months of enormous, and sometimes violent, demonstrations in Hong Kong laid bare the fear and despondency of an identity and way of life being forcibly pulled away, as well as the rage toward a government and its overlords in Beijing who were unwilling to listen or compromise. Timothy McLaughlin, The Atlantic, 18 June 2020 His new self-worth crumbles, though, after a pair of calamities unhinge him, and Jones’ physically masterful, bone-deep turn segues from obnoxious oddball to someone whose internal chemistry seems to be a race between relatable despondency or untouchable nihilism. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 As Llewyn Davis, Isaac’s mannerisms oscillate between ecstasy and despondency. Hazlitt, 24 Aug. 2022 This may be purely subjective, but those moments of despondency are made somehow more moving by the presence of the couple’s cat, which hovers around them in that way that felines have of seeming simultaneously aloof yet attuned to human suffering. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Jan. 2023 After publication of the texts, which indicate that Carlson knew Donald J. Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud were false, the anchor, concerned that his reputation for mendacity had been permanently tainted, spiralled into despondency. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see despond entry 1

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of despondency was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near despondency

Cite this Entry

“Despondency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the state of being despondent : dejection, discouragement

More from Merriam-Webster on despondency

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