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

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 Although their despondency would soon be short-lived, as a 1-0 win in their final Group A game against tournament hosts USA meant Romania qualified for the knockout stages in top spot., "World Cup Countdown: 6 Weeks to Go - Romania Make Last 8 Thanks to 'the Maradona of the Carpathians'," 13 May 2018 Like the glutted inhabitants of Eden-Olympia, the characters in Crash turn to violence in an effort to relieve their despondency. Becca Rothfeld, The New Republic, "J.G. Ballard’s Eerily Accurate Dystopias," 14 Mar. 2018 But Ramona has seen some kind of light and is moving on, leaving Isaac in despondency. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Lemon’ Review: Where Sour Meets Sweet," 17 Aug. 2017 Depression is a mental health disorder in which people have a constant feeling of despondency. Jen Christensen, CNN, "The most common pre-existing medical conditions," 20 Sep. 2017 The anger and despondency over her failure to stop the Rohingya persecution has spread to her fellow Nobel laureates. Rick Gladstone And Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Myanmar Leader Cancels U.N. Trip Amid Outcry Over Rohingya Slaughter," 13 Sep. 2017 Though there’s a question whether despondency isn’t his default state. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Lemon’ Review: Where Sour Meets Sweet," 17 Aug. 2017 The losing streak is feeding some despondency in the Democratic ranks, but some Democrats -- including Pelosi allies -- say the long-term view is more favorable. John King, CNN, "Why the White House has two press teams," 25 June 2017

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

Statistics for despondency

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for despondency

The first known use of despondency was in 1653

See more words from the same year

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).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!