\ ˈhōp How to pronounce hope (audio) \
hoped; hoping

Essential Meaning of hope

: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true No one knows yet if anyone survived the crash. At this point, we can only hope. "Will you be able to come to the party?" "I hope so." [=I want to go to the party but am not sure that I will be able to] See More Examples"Will you have to miss the party?" "I hope not." [=I do not want to miss the party] She hoped that she would be invited to the party. = She hoped to receive an invitation to the party. We all hope (that) things will be better soon. = We're all hoping (that) things will be better soon. They hope to succeed. I hope (that) she remembers. I hope you're feeling better soon. That's what she hoped would happen. It is (to be) hoped that the strike will end soon. Let's hope that the strike ends soon. I hope I haven't bored you. Everyone in your family is well, I hope.Hide

Full 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

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 With her future on RHONY very much an open question, those of us watching at home are daring to hope for the same reprieve. Louis Peitzman, Vulture, 26 Nov. 2021 Workers like Pramila Dabhi and Deepak Pawar are aware of this, yet hold on to hope. Aarefa Johari, Quartz, 25 Nov. 2021 So investors in some of the former retail laggards have to hope that some of these brick and mortar stalwarts will be able to do a better job in the digital commerce realm. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 19 Nov. 2021 The Pacers hope this attitude is the norm for fans. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Nov. 2021 The death is being investigated as a likely homicide, but Mauldin said detectives hope to have a better idea after an autopsy is completed. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 17 Nov. 2021 In the letter, Cassellius and Ojikutu seemed to hope that Riley might reconsider his stance and allow remote learning to continue on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday next week. Nick Stoico, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2021 When the news that she and Konecki were separated became public knowledge in 2019, Adele wasn't prepared for the fan reaction, which was to immediately hope that her heartbreak would inspire new Adele-like music. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 12 Nov. 2021 Hope is tracked down by Rebekah Mikaelson, the only person who can help her; Josie and Lizzie hold on to hope in an increasingly grim situation; Kaleb wants to make things right and asks Cleo for guidance. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Sunday on ABC that the hope is boosters will offer long-lasting protection so additional doses aren’t needed. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Nov. 2021 That, at least, is my hope of what democracy can and should be. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 24 Nov. 2021 However, Mirabel soon becomes their last, best hope when the youngster discovers the supernatural powers surrounding the city of Encanto are in danger. Brent Lang, Variety, 24 Nov. 2021 Their late-August hope was that tight end Nick Boyle (knee) would be ready for Week 1, too. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Yet, this clumsy system remains our best hope for survival. John D. Sutter, CNN, 15 Nov. 2021 Two minutes later — after Peoria kept its hope alive with a touchdown of its own — Cactus put the final finishes on its perfect regular season with its fourth touchdown drive of the night. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 12 Nov. 2021 Three days before the union victory, Chin said that his hope had been dimming. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 And yes, even our faith, our hope in that which is not seen, struggles to compete in the very present face of consumption. Tim Maurer, Forbes, 31 Oct. 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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Dictionary Entries Near hope

hop clover



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Statistics for hope

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for hope


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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