adjective de·spon·dent \ di-ˈspän-dənt \
|Updated on: 13 Aug 2018

Definition of despondent

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



Examples of despondent in a Sentence

  1. His colleagues did not care for his despondent company, which made him suffer more, which perpetuated their distance … —Noah CharneyThe Art Thief2007
  2. 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 LazarTV Guide13 Jan. 1990
  3. 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 SimpsonNew York Times Book Review21 Nov. l982
  4. I had never seen them looking so despondent.

  5. a group of despondent fans

Recent Examples of despondent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of despondent

Latin despondent-, despondens, present participle of despondēre

despondent Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

DESPONDENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of despondent for English Language Learners

  • : very sad and without hope

DESPONDENT Defined for Kids


adjective de·spon·dent \ di-ˈspän-dənt \

Definition of despondent for Students

: very sad
  • Left alone, she grew despondent.



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