hope·​less | \ ˈhō-pləs How to pronounce hopeless (audio) \

Definition of hopeless

1a : having no expectation of good or success : despairing felt hopeless and alone
b : not susceptible to remedy or cure doctors say his condition is hopeless
c : incapable of redemption or improvement She's a hopeless romantic. the most hopeless group of golfers you've ever seen
2a : giving no reason to expect good or success : giving no ground for hope : desperate The situation looked hopeless.
b : incapable of solution, management, or accomplishment : impossible a hopeless task

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Other Words from hopeless

hopelessness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hopeless

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 hopeless in a Sentence

He felt confused and hopeless after losing his job. We were the most hopeless group of golfers you ever saw. He's very ill, but his condition isn't hopeless.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Questions from Twitter abound as the All-Star break and trade deadline draw closer: @PuertoPower: Does the organization view this team as meeting internal expectations, or is there earnest surprise with how hopeless the season already seems? Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants mailbag: Buster Posey’s future, state of farm system, team expectations," 24 June 2019 In 1962, Danny Thomas — the Lebanese American comedian, singer, actor, and devout Catholic — made good on a promise to the patron saint of hopeless causes with the opening of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Marie Mccullough, https://www.inquirer.com, "How conquering a rare leukemia in children revolutionized cancer care for millions," 6 June 2019 Holbrooke soon grasped the hopeless nature of the task. Thomas Powers, The New York Review of Books, "The Fog of Ambition," 6 June 2019 In yielding to Nero, Poppea spurns her former lover, Ottone, who has been the hopeless love object of Drusilla. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Coming-of-age story packs an emotional wallop with its premiere at opera festival," 18 June 2019 To those who think AI is hopeless at getting humor, the machines have one word for you: poppycock. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "Bejesus! A cockamamie AI can predict which craptacular words you’ll find funny," 17 June 2019 Extreme weight-loss behaviors are equally prevalent among US inner-city adolescents of all races but are most extreme among girls who have been abused and feel hopeless. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 Feb. 2019 The Fall shows abounded in variety, with a broad range of options to suit the goth and the poetry lover, sartorialists and hopeless romantics. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "10 Styling Tips from the Fall Runways to Try Now," 19 Mar. 2019 As hopeless, really, as that young man bringing home that dismally ordinary sweater. Andrew Sean Greer, Vogue, "More Is More: Novelist Andrew Sean Greer on the Virtues of Questionable Taste," 16 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hopeless.' 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 hopeless

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near hopeless






hope not

hope so

Statistics for hopeless

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hopeless

The first known use of hopeless was in 1534

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More Definitions for hopeless



English Language Learners Definition of hopeless

: having or feeling no hope
: unable to be changed
informal : unable to be helped or improved : very bad


hope·​less | \ ˈhō-pləs How to pronounce hopeless (audio) \

Kids Definition of hopeless

1 : having no hope He feels hopeless about the future.
2 : offering no hope The situation looks hopeless.

Other Words from hopeless

hopelessly adverb
hopelessness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on hopeless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hopeless

Spanish Central: Translation of hopeless

Nglish: Translation of hopeless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hopeless for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hopeless

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