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 The clinical social worker saw clients over Zoom who were isolated and felt hopeless, many without support systems or the ability to get around on their own. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Oct. 2021 Alex Lee: full-time copywriter, part-time web designer hobbyist and hopeless romantic. Siena Giljum, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Purple’Dogs celebrated a season that just a few weeks ago looked hopeless as Fayetteville carried an 0-4 mark into conference play. Chip Souza, Arkansas Online, 7 Nov. 2020 Early episodes emphasize each character’s melancholy: Charles, a hopeless romantic, plays the concertina for a neighbor across the courtyard rather than asking her out. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 30 Aug. 2021 Young men tend to overestimate the degree to which their academic struggles are hopeless. John Duffy, CNN, 17 Aug. 2021 To others, especially as the Minneapolis area reels from the killing of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by a police officer during the Chauvin trial, change feels hopeless even now. Sarah E. Ryan, Time, 20 Apr. 2021 That there seemingly is no contradiction to reconcile between past and present feels hopeless. Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2021 Often times when going through hardship, people can feel hopeless. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for hopeless

Time Traveler

The first known use of hopeless was in 1534

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hopeless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopeless. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for hopeless



English Language Learners Definition of hopeless

: having or feeling no hope
: unable to be changed
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hopeless

Nglish: Translation of hopeless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hopeless for Arabic Speakers


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