1 of 2


hoped; hoping

intransitive verb

: 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.
archaic : trust

transitive verb

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


2 of 2


: 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
: someone or something on which hopes are centered
our only hope for victory
: something desired or hoped for
great hopes for the coming year
archaic : trust, reliance
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Enchanted by a retro Super 8 camera being used to capture behind-the-scenes footage, Powell asks to take the reins, grabbing shots of his costars — Edgar-Jones dancing barefoot as a rare-but-on-theme April shower begins to fall (perhaps the first time an EW photo director has hoped for rain). EW.com, 11 July 2024 July 11, 2024 will be remembered as another historic day in Salem, albeit for a reason no one ever hoped would come. Andy Swift, TVLine, 11 July 2024
The job comes with the honor of distributing trophies at Wimbledon, and the tennis club's chair previously expressed hope that Princess Kate will present prizes at the championships this weekend. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 12 July 2024 Third Act, an organization working with elders in hopes of protecting the climate and strengthening democracy. Jolan Kruse, Journal Sentinel, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for hope 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


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


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 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


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


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

Geographical Definition


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


2 of 3

biographical name (2)

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


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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