\ 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 Now let’s hope Sega gets Yakuza 3 through 6 ported over to PC before Like a Dragon releases. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Microsoft reveals the first Xbox Series X games: Watch every trailer," 7 May 2020 Let’s hope that the developers make good recordings of what is unearthed before moving onto Leith's future buildings. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Archaeologists Unearth Remnants of Lost Scottish Wine-Bottle Glass Factory," 28 Apr. 2020 Democratic leaders hope to make many of these moves permanent, an acknowledgment of a sentiment by many voters in the state that even the pre-virus political normal was far from ideal. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "On Politics: What Reopening Really Means," 5 May 2020 Officials hope this will promote social distancing by preventing large gatherings of people at one time. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Maricopa County considers new August primary election plan in wake of COVID-19," 5 May 2020 Trump is seeking to pivot his focus away from the virus’s spread and toward more familiar — and, aides hope, politically safer — ground: talking up the economy. Time, "White House Hopes to Wind Down COVID-19 Task Force as Trump Visits Arizona Mask Factory," 5 May 2020 If tree licking provides a significant proportion of koalas’ water needs, researchers hope their results can identify areas where water should be supplemented as the rain dries up. Amanda Heidt, Science | AAAS, "Bizarre behavior shows—for the first time—how wild koalas drink," 5 May 2020 Global brands hope China’s gigantic consumer market will help rekindle growth as the world tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. WSJ, "Coronavirus Updates: Insurers Flex Balance Sheets to Help Hospitals, Doctors," 4 May 2020 Though most of Dinah’s life remains a mystery, those who now run Stenton House hope visitors will take the new monument as an opportunity to ponder her fully. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Philadelphia Will Memorialize Dinah, an Enslaved Woman Who Saved the City’s Historic Stenton House in 1777," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, even as the floodwaters continued to rise to record levels and public officials tried Wednesday to sort out the damage and figure out how to keep people safe amid a pandemic, there was hope. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Mid-Michigan's catastrophic flooding adds to state's pandemic woes," 20 May 2020 But there is new hope after an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus yielded encouraging results, though in a small and extremely early test. Vladimir Isachenkov, Time, "Coronavirus Spike in Russia, Brazil, India and Others Show Pandemic is Far From Over," 19 May 2020 There is still some hope of a vaccine to come in 2020, however, even if the chances are slim for such an unprecedented accomplishment. Fox News, "Hunker down: Some states say no full-scale reopening until coronavirus vaccine, treatment is ready," 19 May 2020 But there is new hope after an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus yielded encouraging results, though in a small and extremely early test. Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus infections spike in Russia, Brazil and beyond as much of world eases lockdowns," 19 May 2020 Another is the hope of luring some of the many foreign firms that are just now looking to reduce reliance on China by investing elsewhere. The Economist, "Let them eat structural reform! Indian states are rushing to undo laws protecting workers," 18 May 2020 Every now and then, the patient is so sick that there is no hope of recovery. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Dr. Sanjay Gupta: If the United States were my patient," 17 May 2020 But some within the department felt there was hope of a breakthrough. Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, "Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.," 16 May 2020 When Katy Perry and Taylor Swift ended their friendship a few years back, many felt that there was no hope for the singers to get on the same page because the bad blood between them ran too deep. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Katy Perry Really Wants Us To Think She’s Going To Collab With Taylor Swift," 14 May 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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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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 29 May. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on hope

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hope

Spanish Central: Translation of hope

Nglish: Translation of hope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hope for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hope

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