hope·​less | \ ˈhō-pləs How to pronounce hopeless (audio) \

Definition of hopeless

1a : having no expectation of good or success : despairing felt hopeless and alone
b : not susceptible to remedy or cure doctors say his condition is hopeless
c : incapable of redemption or improvement She's a hopeless romantic. the most hopeless group of golfers you've ever seen
2a : giving no reason to expect good or success : giving no ground for hope : desperate The situation looked hopeless.
b : incapable of solution, management, or accomplishment : impossible a hopeless task

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Other Words from hopeless

hopelessness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hopeless

despondent, despairing, desperate, hopeless mean having lost all or nearly all hope. despondent implies a deep dejection arising from a conviction of the uselessness of further effort. despondent about yet another rejection despairing suggests the slipping away of all hope and often despondency. despairing appeals for the return of the kidnapped child 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 hopeless suggests despair and the cessation of effort or resistance and often implies acceptance or resignation. the situation of the trapped miners is hopeless

Examples of hopeless in a Sentence

He felt confused and hopeless after losing his job. We were the most hopeless group of golfers you ever saw. He's very ill, but his condition isn't hopeless.
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Recent Examples on the Web Often times when going through hardship, people can feel hopeless. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2021 Conditions in Iraq in the wake of invasion may have seemed hopeless, with a spreading Sunni insurgency, the arrival of foreign terrorists, and Sunni-Shiite violence. Paul Bremer And David C. Gompert, WSJ, 20 Aug. 2021 Without the support and protection of the U.S. military, the success of women in the country seems hopeless. John Kapetaneas, ABC News, 17 Aug. 2021 Other speakers talked about a widening network of recovery centers and specialists who help people get off their hopeless tracks of drug addiction. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, 31 Aug. 2021 He also had been involved in charitable work and worked to help Holocaust survivors, immigrants and the hopeless and to protect free speech. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2021 For defense lawyers, there has rarely been as hopeless a case as that of the man accused of shooting up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, 29 Aug. 2021 The Orioles’ hopeless stench wafted beyond Baltimore, capturing the attention of national baseball commentators who see them as the tragic symbol of a deformed league in which too many small- and midmarket franchises have given up trying to win. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, 27 Aug. 2021 Janey has been dragged — over the course of the worst two weeks of her mayoral campaign — from a terrible, defensive position on attacking COVID to something slightly less hopeless. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hopeless.' 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 hopeless

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for hopeless

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The first known use of hopeless was in 1534

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hopeless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopeless. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for hopeless



English Language Learners Definition of hopeless

: having or feeling no hope
: unable to be changed
: unable to be helped or improved : very bad


hope·​less | \ ˈhō-pləs How to pronounce hopeless (audio) \

Kids Definition of hopeless

1 : having no hope He feels hopeless about the future.
2 : offering no hope The situation looks hopeless.

Other Words from hopeless

hopelessly adverb
hopelessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hopeless

Nglish: Translation of hopeless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hopeless for Arabic Speakers


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