\ 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 The crushing loss gave the rest of Europe hope that he could be defeated by them as well. Washington Post, "French leader Napoleon Bonaparte has a complicated legacy," 5 May 2021 The Westview and Olympian jobs are posted and both hope to have a coach in place by June. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego notebook: Former La Jolla star coming to UCSD; two prep football coaches out," 4 May 2021 For now, Adelso and David continue to work with their lawyers and hope to be part of the first wave of reunions. New York Times, "Many Families Torn Apart at Southern U.S. Border Face a Long and Uncertain Wait," 4 May 2021 Disappointed by cancellation of the Strawberry Festival, Cedarburg businesses hope to organize separate event Daily attractions will also include lumberjack shows with log rolling, ax throwing and chainsaw demonstrations. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Nothing virtual': The Washington County Fair is returning this summer with new activities and traditional favorites," 4 May 2021 The spurt cut the Warriors' lead to 66-54 and gave the Pelicans hope. Brett Martel, ajc, "Curry's 41 points push Warriors past Pelicans 123-108," 4 May 2021 Heartache awaits all our heroes, but for one brief moment, hope across the galaxy has been restored. Ew Staff, EW.com, "Every Star Wars film ranked from worst to best," 4 May 2021 There is some progress — and hope — in the latest data. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Grades start to improve in Salt Lake City School District. But don’t expect pre-pandemic scores.," 3 May 2021 Some of that speed was already on the roster in the form of Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit, who each hope to return from injuries that cost them the entire 2020 season. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Browns Winners and Losers of the 2021 NFL Draft," 3 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This trickle-down notion of education — help the top and hope that will somehow benefit the rest — is as ineffective and harmful as trickle-down economics. Larry Miller, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Northwestern Mutual's CEO wants 'trickle-down' education. Instead, let's strengthen Milwaukee's schools and families.," 6 May 2021 Xavier's hope is that these upgrades will open up even more possibilities for events inside Cintas Center. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, "Xavier unveils $3 million project to add a new scoreboard, upgrade Cintas Center technology," 6 May 2021 And yet, even with all of this nation’s flaws, Chavez, the immigration attorney, sees hope in this time of darkness and despair. Los Angeles Times, "As immigrants seek refuge, America struggles to live up to its promise," 6 May 2021 In the United States, even as a sense of hope spreads, there remain strong reasons for caution. New York Times, "‘Turning the Corner’: U.S. Covid Outlook Reaches Most Hopeful Point Yet," 6 May 2021 Republicans and Trump allies immediately claimed the decision was biased, while critics of the ex-President voiced hope that the upheld ban could reduce Trump's lasting influence via social media. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 6: Coronavirus, Facebook, economic relief, China, Colombia," 6 May 2021 Pittsburgh’s lone recourse that January night was to pass and pass and pass, hoping against hope that its line would hold up, that Cleveland would choke, that offensive balance wasn’t actually necessary. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens OT Alejandro Villanueva has a new job. He hopes it doesn’t come with the ‘angst’ of his old one.," 6 May 2021 The government’s hope was that Italy’s European neighbors would follow suit and provide rescue vessels, funding, and, most important, places to resettle the migrants. Ian Urbina, The Atlantic, "Purgatory at Sea," 6 May 2021 Her answer should worry anyone who’d been holding out hope that more payments would be on the way. Andy Meek, BGR, "Here’s an important stimulus check update if you’re hoping for more payments," 5 May 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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

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