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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective hopeless differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of hopeless are despairing, desperate, and despondent. While all these words mean "having lost all or nearly all hope," hopeless suggests despair and the cessation of effort or resistance and often implies acceptance or resignation.

the situation of the trapped miners is hopeless

When is despairing a more appropriate choice than hopeless?

The meanings of despairing and hopeless largely overlap; however, despairing suggests the slipping away of all hope and often despondency.

despairing appeals for the return of the kidnapped child

In what contexts can desperate take the place of hopeless?

While the synonyms desperate and hopeless are close in meaning, 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

When can despondent be used instead of hopeless?

While in some cases nearly identical to hopeless, despondent implies a deep dejection arising from a conviction of the uselessness of further effort.

despondent about yet another rejection

Thesaurus Entries Near hopeless

Cite this Entry

“Hopeless.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/hopeless. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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