hope

1 of 2

verb

hoped; hoping

intransitive verb

1
: to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true
hopes for a promotion
hoping for the best
I hope so.
2
archaic : trust

transitive verb

1
: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment
I hope she remembers.
hopes to be invited
2
: to expect with confidence : trust
Your mother is doing well, I hope.
hoper noun

hope

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment
came in hopes of seeing you
also : expectation of fulfillment or success
no hope of a cure
when they were young and full of hope
b
: someone or something on which hopes are centered
our only hope for victory
c
: something desired or hoped for
great hopes for the coming year
2
archaic : trust, reliance
Phrases
hope against hope
: to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment
Choose the Right Synonym for hope

expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome.

expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning.

expects to be finished by Tuesday

hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.

hopes to find a job soon

look, with to, implies assurance that expectations will be fulfilled

looks to a tidy profit from the sale

; with for it implies less assurance and suggests an attitude of expectancy and watchfulness.

look for rain when the wind shifts to the northeast

Example Sentences

Verb No one knows yet if anyone survived the crash. At this point, we can only hope. I hope you're feeling better soon. That's what she hoped would happen. Let's hope that the strike ends soon. I hope I haven't bored you. Everyone in your family is well, I hope. Noun When they started their life together, they were young and full of hope. Rescuers have not yet abandoned hope that more survivors will be found. The drug has brought hope to thousands of sufferers. We allowed ourselves to entertain hopes that the crisis would end soon. The goal raised the hopes of the team. The hope is that there will be a settlement soon. The lawyers do not want to raise false hopes of an early settlement. He told them the truth with the hope that they would understand. He had little hope of attending college. The latest reports hold out hope for a possible end to this crisis. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The girls hope this support continues, said Heather Buescher, Isabel’s mom. Ellie Silverman, Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2022 This partnership and influx of younger members at Union Chapel United Methodist Church has given it hope for a bright future. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 25 Nov. 2022 Sometimes the same image that inspires hope for some provokes despair in others. Time, 23 Nov. 2022 Because no matter how dark things seem, there is always reason to hope. CNN, 20 Nov. 2022 Some of the families hope to unite with relatives or friends in other locations, Gym said. Maryclaire Dale, Chron, 16 Nov. 2022 Some of the families hope to unite with relatives or friends in other locations, Gym said. CBS News, 16 Nov. 2022 But even with these fresh efforts, America and the world have a long way to go to meet emissions targets that scientists hope will contain global warming. Chris Megerian, Fortune, 12 Nov. 2022 But even with these fresh efforts, America and the world have a long way to go to meet emissions targets that scientists hope will contain global warming. Zeke Miller And, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2022
Noun
And yet, even with the frost and the discomforts, there is also hope in the air. John Leicester, ajc, 27 Nov. 2022 For now, all Indiana can do is hope for the best — and get the heck out of Vegas. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Nov. 2022 Alec Pierce actually paced Indianapolis with eight targets — there may be hope for the rookie after all — but only produced three receptions for 28 yards. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2022 This was potentially the hope of Shen’s anonymous seller when promoting a hybrid version of a T. rex as a fully authentic skeleton. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 22 Nov. 2022 To have any hope of making good on it, the President needed to get legislation through Congress. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 The Rams have hope until they are eliminated from the playoffs. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022 McDaniels had better hope that Raiders owner Mark Davis is a patient man. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Nov. 2022 Any fan who had hope for a positive outcome would have been on an emotional rollercoaster, especially a fan harboring playoff hopes. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 7 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hopian; akin to Middle High German hoffen to hope

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of hope was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hope

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

hope

1 of 2 verb
hoped; hoping
: to desire something and expect that it will happen or be obtained
hope to succeed
hope you'll accept the invitation
hope for a bicycle

hope

2 of 2 noun
1
archaic : trust entry 1 sense 1a, reliance
our hope is in the king
2
a
: desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment
in hope of an early recovery
b
: someone or something on which hopes are centered
a home run was the only hope for victory
c
: something hoped for

Geographical Definition

Hope

geographical name

city in southwestern Arkansas that was the childhood home of President Bill Clinton population 10,095

Biographical Definition

Hope 1 of 3

biographical name (1)

Anthony see Sir Anthony Hope hawkins

Hope

2 of 3

biographical name (2)

Bob 1903–2003 originally Leslie Townes Hope American (British-born) comedian

Hope

3 of 3

biographical name (3)

Victor Alexander John 1887–1951 2nd Marquis of Linlithgow lin-ˈlith-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce Hope (audio) British soldier; viceroy of India (1936–43)

More from Merriam-Webster on hope

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