\ ˈhōp How to pronounce hope (audio) \
hoped; hoping

Definition of hope

 (Entry 1 of 6)

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.
hope against hope
: to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment



Definition of hope (Entry 2 of 6)

1a : 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


biographical name (1)
\ ˈhōp How to pronounce Hope (audio) \

Definition of Hope (Entry 3 of 6)

Anthony — see Sir Anthony Hope hawkins


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hope (Entry 4 of 6)

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


biographical name (3)

Definition of Hope (Entry 5 of 6)

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)


geographical name

Definition of Hope (Entry 6 of 6)

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

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Other Words from hope


hoper noun

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

Examples of hope in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While there was despair after the decision in Taylor's case, others saw reasons to hope. Claire Galofaro, Star Tribune, "In despair, protesters take to streets for Breonna Taylor," 25 Sep. 2020 Like Theranos before it, the electric-truck company shows it’s a mistake to hope startups can save the planet. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Nikola Scandal Is a Cautionary Tale About Green Tech’s Gauzy Promises," 21 Sep. 2020 Milwaukee’s best bet is to hope the Twins win two of three against the Reds and inch past the Reds on record alone. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MLB playoff tiebreakers are different this year, so here's where the Brewers stand with one week left," 21 Sep. 2020 Some experts hope that November will be a watershed month for new ways of testing, as numerous novel point-of-care tests should have come to market by then. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "How We Survive the Winter," 18 Sep. 2020 The near-certain guarantee of an agonizingly slow vote count is one reason to hope that, whatever the outcome, the 2020 election doesn’t all come down to Arizona. John Mccormack, National Review, "Election: Battleground Arizona," 17 Sep. 2020 Contenders have to hope for a wild season to be part of the conversation. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Winners and losers from the Big Ten decision start its football season this fall," 16 Sep. 2020 Officials involved in the FTW Summer Showdown hope that this is only the beginning in a fight for diversity and inclusion in gaming. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "Esports tournament marks historic turn for women gamers," 16 Sep. 2020 McCarthy had to hope McVay would put the game in Jared Goff’s hands, which would give pass rushers DeMarcus Lawrence, Aldon Smith and Everson Griffin an opportunity to rush without worrying about the running game. Dallas News, "The Dallas Cowboys' offense didn’t just flop — it flopped when it mattered most," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The hope is that the boxes will increase the number of these animals in the park. cleveland, "NR Pizza Bake-off benefits Citizens For Better Schools, Community Care: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 26 Sep. 2020 The hope is that if there is a resurgence, the federal government will step in again, but there is no guarantee. NBC News, "Second Covid-19 wave could turn cracks in the hospital system into 'earthquakes'," 26 Sep. 2020 The prospective league has reached out to every city and town involved, asking which teams and communities need financial support, with the hope being that those players who cannot afford to play can have their cost fully subsidized. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "With high school football canceled, teams in Fairfield County are looking to form a private league," 23 Sep. 2020 The hope is to reverse a trend that began in 2009-10 when a large budget hole from the recession resulted in the council eliminating 135 civilian positions from the police department, according to city staff. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Dallas Council majority says $7 million in police overtime cuts will go back into public safety," 23 Sep. 2020 The best hope is to slow the pace of warming enough to maintain some control for humanity. John Branch, New York Times, "Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial.," 22 Sep. 2020 Welsh said the hope is for a grand finale to be held in-person at the end of the six-week process. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Sykesville seeking acts for unique ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition," 21 Sep. 2020 The hope is to avoid the fate of Blockbuster Video, which was pushed into oblivion by Netflix Inc., and become an online destination for everything from tech toys to tennis rackets. Olga Kharif, Bloomberg.com, "GameStop Rises on Investor’s Plan to Make It an Amazon Rival," 21 Sep. 2020 The hope was that the funding could accelerate the timeline for new technology to mature to the point that private investors would find the technology more attractive. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Here’s how DOE’s first crop of risky energy tech has done," 20 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hope


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


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

History and Etymology for hope

Verb and Noun

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

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Learn More about hope

Time Traveler for hope

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hope

Last Updated

28 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hope


How to pronounce Hope (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true



English Language Learners Definition of hope (Entry 2 of 2)

: the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true
: the chance that something good will happen
: someone or something that may be able to provide help : someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping


\ ˈhōp How to pronounce hope (audio) \
hoped; hoping

Kids Definition of hope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to desire especially with expectation that the wish will be granted I hope she remembers I'm coming.



Kids Definition of hope (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : desire together with the expectation of getting what is wanted
2 : a chance or likelihood for something desired There isn't much hope of winning.
3 : something wished for My hope is that we'll all do well.
4 : someone or something that may be able to help You're our last hope.

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