\ 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

Synonyms for hope

Synonyms: Verb

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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 There’s still hope that some city money might make its way to consortium projects, but the group has taken a longer-term view. Mario Aguilar, STAT, "Inside the battle over Talkspace and a grand experiment in mental health," 30 Mar. 2021 Los Angeles and Orange counties are set to pass a new milestone in what officials and residents hope is a return to normalcy. Los Angeles Times, "Scenes of a reemerging California: Los Angeles and Orange County enter orange tier," 30 Mar. 2021 Berlin and Munich had better hope that the same will be applicable there, because infection rates are shooting up as Germany and the rest of Europe plow into a third wave that is likely to be even more severe than the second. David Meyer, Fortune, "AstraZeneca COVID vaccine: German cities follow Canada in pausing rollout over clotting fears," 30 Mar. 2021 In what some Republican legislators hope will be the beginning of larger pension reform, the House and Senate voted to override the veto of House Bill 258 Monday. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky legislature overrides teacher pension veto, putting new hires on 'hybrid' plan," 29 Mar. 2021 After declining for two decades, jobs in bioscience are showing signs of a comeback for an industry economic development officials hope will play an important role in the state’s future. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Branford’s IsoPlexis is on forefront of boosting jobs in Connecticut’s bioscience industry, crucial to state’s future economic growth," 29 Mar. 2021 But some Israeli politicians still hope the area will one day be folded into the state of Israel as a buffer against potential attacks from the east. BostonGlobe.com, "Palestinian hamlet embodies fight for the West Bank’s future," 21 Mar. 2021 The first one is in Milwaukee and officials in Madison hope to host one there as well. Scott Bauer, Star Tribune, "Official: Herd immunity possible in Wisconsin by July," 18 Mar. 2021 Those blastoids are also a great insight into extremely early embryo development, and scientists hope to study why so many embryos fail to implant in the uterine wall. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Grew a Mouse Embryo Outside the Womb. Are Humans Next?," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hutson has continued working as an executive coach during the pandemic and has recently been giving talks on hope to business groups, nonprofit organizations and churches. Judith Graham, CNN, "Older adults begin to catch up on all that they missed during the pandemic after Covid-19 vaccinations," 31 Mar. 2021 That decision is giving hope, at least in some instances, to people with little chance of landing an appointment. oregonlive, "Oregonians may get COVID-19 special invites to vaccine clinics where appointments are a long shot," 30 Mar. 2021 Still, the section and state championships remain a possibility and with new COVID-19 cases steadily dropping, hope remains. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wrestling hopes for the best in salvaging season," 30 Mar. 2021 The coronavirus revealed how fragile dreams can be, plunging people into cycles of loss and grief, hope and disappointment. Washington Post, "He was Nigeria’s biggest Scrabble star. The pandemic spelled identity crisis.," 30 Mar. 2021 Last summer the streets of America teemed with hope and rage. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Who Thinks of Incarcerated People in a Pandemic? These Women," 30 Mar. 2021 For many European airlines—and some entire economies—much is riding on the hope that vaccination campaigns save the summer season. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Investors Shouldn’t Rush to Book a Sunny European Vacation," 29 Mar. 2021 But the freshman point guard made back-to-back shots after that, including another 3, that put UConn up 62-55 with 7:47 to play after hope had momentarily appeared lost. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "UConn freshman phenom Paige Bueckers comes through again — when her team needs it most," 29 Mar. 2021 After a hard year for the MU athletic department in general and the men's basketball team in particular, the 43-year-old Smart seemed to represent the dawn of new hope. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette was won over by Shaka Smart's leadership skills. Now the new coach has work to do.," 29 Mar. 2021

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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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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for hope



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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Comments on hope

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