de·​spon·​dent | \di-ˈspän-dənt \

Definition of despondent 

: feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression despondent about his health

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Other Words from despondent

despondently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for despondent


despairing, desperate, forlorn, hopeless


hopeful, optimistic

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Choose the Right Synonym for despondent

despondent, despairing, desperate, hopeless mean having lost all or nearly all hope. despondent implies a deep dejection arising from a conviction of the uselessness of further effort. despondent about yet another rejection despairing suggests the slipping away of all hope and often despondency. despairing appeals for the return of the kidnapped child desperate implies despair that prompts reckless action or violence in the face of defeat or frustration. one last desperate attempt to turn the tide of battle hopeless suggests despair and the cessation of effort or resistance and often implies acceptance or resignation. the situation of the trapped miners is hopeless

Examples of despondent in a Sentence

His colleagues did not care for his despondent company, which made him suffer more, which perpetuated their distance … — Noah Charney, The Art Thief, 2007 The Simpsons' plots are a bit more sophisticated than their Saturday morning counterparts and are occasionally tinged with pathos—as when Homer loses his job at the nuclear-power plant and becomes despondent and even suicidal. — Jerry Lazar, TV Guide, 13 Jan. 1990 Writers who spend much time in universities are likely to grow despondent over the future of literature, for there it is treated as a finished thing. — Louis Simpson, New York Times Book Review, 21 Nov. l982 I had never seen them looking so despondent. a group of despondent fans
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Recent Examples on the Web

Sometimes the family knew their loved one was despondent, had long struggled with mental health troubles, or had talked about having no way out. Dr. Judy Melinek, Vox, "The NRA told doctors to “stay in your lane” on guns. I’m a doctor. This is my lane.," 12 Nov. 2018 The camera cuts to more sad, despondent faces in the church. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "If You Like This Is Us, Then You'll Love A Million Little Things," 26 Sep. 2018 By delaying the trophy presentation, leaving Croatia's despondent players waiting even longer to depart the field, the storm clouds gathered. Rob Harris, Fox News, "No refuge from politics but France victory a fitting climax," 15 July 2018 The Producers’’ on: the despondent nebbish at midlife, here named Martin. Don Aucoin,, "‘The Closet’ plays sexual identity for old-fashioned laughs," 1 July 2018 His eighth of the tournament and second of the game was a scintillating Brazil at their best, killing off any hopes of the World Cup staying in Europe, while a despondent Kahn was left to reflect on what might have been after the final whistle., "World Cup Countdown: 4 Weeks to Go - Golden Ball in Safe Hands After Oliver Kahn's Historic Triumph," 27 May 2018 The next day, a despondent-looking Sheldon and Amy don't even go to work (who can blame them?). Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 9 Recap: Amy and Sheldon's Project Falls Apart," 15 Nov. 2018 The papers say the man had an uneventful upbringing in a Muslim household but grew despondent when his pregnant sister died from a sudden illness. Fox News, "US authorities seek leniency for Islamic State cooperator," 28 June 2018 The pregnant woman on the other end of the call sounded despondent. Marisa Gerber,, "L.A. County public defender's office underserves immigrant community, ACLU report says," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despondent.' 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 despondent

circa 1699, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despondent

Latin despondent-, despondens, present participle of despondēre

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Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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The first known use of despondent was circa 1699

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More Definitions for despondent



English Language Learners Definition of despondent

: very sad and without hope


de·​spon·​dent | \di-ˈspän-dənt \

Kids Definition of despondent

: very sad Left alone, she grew despondent.

Other Words from despondent

despondently adverb

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Comments on despondent

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