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

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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

Today, a novelist sits every day at The Amiable Fleas, a novelist whose work is so despondent that the whole world flocks to him. Washington Post, "Rare Steinbeck story, set in Paris, published this week," 1 Aug. 2019 Joe is especially despondent about the series' end. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Literally No One Misses 'Game of Thrones' More Than the Jonas Brothers," 6 June 2019 On the front page of the Jan. 21 Sun, a drawing of the Oriole bird, who would normally have been despondent after the O’s lost to Boston, 6-5, was instead smiling and waving an American flag. Chris Kaltenbach,, "The moon landing had The Sun’s attention in 1969," 19 July 2019 Nunez was despondent, Pointer said, about the fact that his aunt and uncle, who raised him, had taken a trip to Washington State for a family reunion. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, "Federal civil trial underway in 2016 San Jose police shooting," 18 June 2019 In the story, Toad is despondent when the cookies disappear, but Frog sees a silver lining. Deborah E. Kennedy, Good Housekeeping, "My Mom Has Dementia, But Her Relationship With My Son Is Unforgettable," 3 May 2019 As for Djokovic, his recovery last year, from despondent to dominant, was remarkable. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Set for Another Australian Open Showdown," 25 Jan. 2019 My book manuscript was due to my editor in less than a year, but marshaling my despondent, wildly bereft thoughts for the purposes of creative work seemed a hurdle too elephantine to overcome. Rachel Vorona Cote, SELF, "Why I Embraced Skin Care After My Mother's Death," 18 Apr. 2019 Margolick’s portrayal of King’s final year is deft; increasingly unpopular and isolated, King was often exhausted and despondent. Benjamin Hedin,, "50 years later: 'The Promise and the Dream' explores interrupted work of MLK and Robert Kennedy," 28 Mar. 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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Statistics for despondent

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

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The first known use of despondent was circa 1699

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English Language Learners Definition of despondent

formal : very sad and without hope


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

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Comments on despondent

What made you want to look up despondent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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