1 of 2


hoped; hoping

intransitive verb

: 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.
archaic : trust

transitive verb

: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment
I hope she remembers.
hopes to be invited
: to expect with confidence : trust
Your mother is doing well, I hope.
hoper noun


2 of 2


: 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
: someone or something on which hopes are centered
our only hope for victory
: something desired or hoped for
great hopes for the coming year
archaic : trust, reliance
hope against hope
: to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
In August alone, more than 80,000 people crossed Panama's Darién Gap, a monthly record high for a roadless and mountainous jungle that has become a major transit destination for hundreds of thousands of migrants hoping to reach the U.S. each year, according to Panamanian officials. Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, 21 Sep. 2023 Travelers hoping to book a flight for one of those big fall or winter holidays should start tracking and thinking about booking now. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 21 Sep. 2023 Tapping into public unease about the short-term costs of decarbonizing the economy (rather than attempting to do anything about that) is now a wedge issue that the Tories hope to exploit against Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, which is timid and easily spooked about such things. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023 China hoped Fiji would be a template for the Pacific, but Fijians soured on some of the police actions, and last year China failed to forge a sweeping security pact with 10 Pacific island nations. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Donald Trump is hoping that House Republicans will use the government shutdown to stop the criminal prosecutions against him. Edith Olmsted, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 The International Sustainability Standards Board hopes its climate framework, completed this past summer, becomes the global baseline. David Breg, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2023 Cases started rising again in late summer, and experts hope that the new shots will help protect people during the upcoming fall respiratory virus season. Nbc Universal, NBC News, 21 Sep. 2023 In the absence of Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping, President Biden had hoped to rally support for Ukraine abroad as voters from both parties have begun to question the U.S. ongoing military aid. USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023
But for folks upset by Milstein’s plans, all hope is not yet lost. James McClain, Robb Report, 22 Sep. 2023 What explains those contradictions is that many Americans vote more out of fear than hope. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Still, the announcement of progress at Ford raised hopes that the strike, at least at there, could be brought to a relatively quick end. Chris Isidore, CNN, 22 Sep. 2023 But as the logic of the Cold War took hold, those hopes curdled. Samuel Clowes Huneke, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2023 Mims is a stash candidate in hopes Sean Payton and Russell Wilson utilize one of the few explosive players on their offense more often. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Sep. 2023 For the first time in franchise history, each judge will compete alongside the contestants and will mentor and guide the acts throughout the competition in the hopes that their team will earn the title of champion. Breanna Bell, Variety, 21 Sep. 2023 Recommended Leaders of Britain and France, despite sharing Mr. Biden’s hope for a reinvigorated, more effective U.N., have increasingly prioritized other forums since the Ukraine war, such as NATO, the G7 group of the world’s leading economies, and the wider G20 economic grouping. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Sep. 2023 The unlikely pair became a couple after Burkhart moved to Oklahoma in the 1920s in hopes of striking it rich in the Osage oil boom. Sabienna Bowman, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hopian; akin to Middle High German hoffen to hope

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of hope was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hope

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
hoped; hoping
: to desire something and expect that it will happen or be obtained
hope to succeed
hope you'll accept the invitation
hope for a bicycle


2 of 2 noun
archaic : trust entry 1 sense 1a, reliance
our hope is in the king
: desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment
in hope of an early recovery
: someone or something on which hopes are centered
a home run was the only hope for victory
: something hoped for

Geographical Definition


geographical name

city in southwestern Arkansas that was the childhood home of President Bill Clinton population 10,095

Biographical Definition

Hope 1 of 3

biographical name (1)

Anthony see Sir Anthony Hope hawkins


2 of 3

biographical name (2)

Bob 1903–2003 originally Leslie Townes Hope American (British-born) comedian


3 of 3

biographical name (3)

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on hope

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