de·​spon·​dent | \ di-ˈspän-dənt How to pronounce despondent (audio) \

Definition of despondent

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

Other Words from despondent

despondently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for despondent



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. 1982 I had never seen them looking so despondent. a group of despondent fans
Recent Examples on the Web In the last stretch of a 26.2-mile trek in March’s Los Angeles Marathon, Andrea called her mother, despondent. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Chopra Jonas, 39, stars in the film as a despondent widow who tragically lost her fiancé and has started texting his old number again. Natasha Dado,, 20 Apr. 2022 Also, referee’s whistles are going to be a bit tighter, so Bogdanovic should intend to spend less time splayed out on the floor, despondent that a foul call didn’t go his way. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Apr. 2022 Unable to access the generous provisions made by European Union lawmakers for Ukrainian passport holders, these young people are growing increasingly frightened and despondent. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2022 The single finds frontman Chris Carraba reflecting on the changes, both good and bad, that come with growing older — a stark change from the lovelorn, despondent indie rock ballads that defined Carraba’s early career. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 26 Feb. 2022 That Monday, there were twenty temporary workers like me assembled in the conference room of a squat, despondent yellow brick building that was the Department of Human Services in Redwood City. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 Fans are despondent, donors are angry, trolls are angriest. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Feb. 2022 Disgraced and despondent, on Jan. 28, 1949, Rutland took his own life by inhaling gas. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of despondent

circa 1699, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despondent

Latin despondent-, despondens, present participle of despondēre

Learn More About despondent

Time Traveler for despondent

Time Traveler

The first known use of despondent was circa 1699

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near despondent




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for despondent

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Despondent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for despondent


de·​spon·​dent | \ di-ˈspän-dənt How to pronounce despondent (audio) \

Kids Definition of despondent

: very sad Left alone, she grew despondent.

Other Words from despondent

despondently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on despondent

Nglish: Translation of despondent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despondent for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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