Definition of hope in English:

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Pronunciation: /hōp/


1A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen: he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information I had high hopes of making the Olympic team
More example sentences
  • Instead the two clubs can still dream of Cardiff, albeit in both cases more in hope than expectation.
  • This time there was hope and expectation, and a certain symbolism.
  • They now await their results in August and September in hope and expectation.
aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design;
dream, daydream, pipe dream
1.1A person or thing that may help or save someone: their only hope is surgery
More example sentences
  • The decision came as little surprise but washed away the last hopes of parents who have fought to save the popular schools.
  • This was one of the only hopes for this once majestic statue to be saved from the elements.
  • Most familiar with the problem believe the only hope for a reversal in the trend is education.
1.2Grounds for believing that something good may happen: he does see some hope for the future
More example sentences
  • Edwina Currie was moved by the response to the gathering, and believes it offers hope for the future.
  • No great surprises here either, but grounds for rational hope at the voting booth.
  • Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.
hopefulness, optimism, expectation, expectancy;
confidence, faith, trust, belief, conviction, assurance;
promise, possibility
2 archaic A feeling of trust.
Example sentences
  • Rather, Jesus is believed to be present in ways which allow him to be related to in faith, love, hope, joy, and obedience.
  • Paul portrays the community of the new age as a community of faith, hope, and love.
  • Jesus did not lose hope but trusted in God even when it appeared that he was in a hopeless situation.


[no object]
1Want something to happen or be the case: he’s hoping for an offer of compensation [with clause]: I hope that the kids are OK
More example sentences
  • They will be hoping for an easy draw in the next round so they can get the show back on the road.
  • He added that in the long term his group was hoping for an effective relief road for the town centre.
  • The greedy geese drove off the ducks and chased after pensioners, hoping for a feed.
expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one's hopes on, want;
wish for, long for, dream of
1.1 [with infinitive] Intend if possible to do something: we’re hoping to address all these issues
More example sentences
  • Plans have been drawn up and it is hoped to commence work in this area in the new year.
  • We have provided the Court with a schedule setting out the areas that we hope to address.
  • In later essays I hope to address some questions that arise because of this piece.
aim, intend, be looking, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire



hope against hope

Cling to a mere possibility: they were hoping against hope that he would find a way out
More example sentences
  • For hours he refused to sanction retaliation: he still hoped against hope that what was happening was a mere ‘provocation’.
  • We waited around, hoping against hope that Brutus might show.
  • And yet I'm powerless to do anything about it other than sit here and watch, hoping against hope that it'll get better before it gets worse.

hope for the best

Hope for a favorable outcome.
Example sentences
  • We have been writing letters to local companies for sponsorship and just hoping for the best.
  • They talked with her father, Melvin, just moments ago, and he told me he is still hopeful though he admitted that with the search in the park today he is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
  • But right now, people here are hoping for the best, but realize that much of the small island could be under water by the time Hurricane Charley passes by Florida.

hope springs eternal (in the human breast)

proverb It is human nature to always find fresh cause for optimism.
Example sentences
  • But if ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast’, perhaps we can continue to look to the future when a change of fortune will surely lead to success.
  • Yet the birth of a new year is not the time for despondency, for hope springs eternal in the human breast.
  • But hope springs eternal, so that's no surprise.

in hopes of

With the aim of: I lay on a towel in the park in hopes of getting a tan
More example sentences
  • Meira held her breath and backed quickly against the wall, in hopes of not being seen.
  • Prosecutors say he did so in hopes of securing a presidential pardon that never came.
  • I pass it daily in hopes of getting an invite, or at least a compliment on my new haircut.

in hopes that

Hoping that: they are screaming in hopes that a police launch will pick us up
More example sentences
  • Jessie walked down the streets, heading for her home in hopes that when she got there, Arin would be awake.
  • I laid my head down in hopes that in the morning things wouldn't be so dreadful.
  • So every week or two a new book arrives, sent by a publisher in hopes that we will review it on this site and stimulate sales.

not a hope (in hell)

informal No chance at all: this team doesn’t have a hope in hell of making the playoffs
More example sentences
  • Almost crushed by the label of the tour's greatest choker, she has been written off by her critics and supporters alike -a lovely woman but not a hope of winning an important title.
  • Apparently the lads have been practising in my absence and now think they are pretty handy - good luck boys, not a hope.



Example sentences
  • The Scottish National Party is hoping that branding Tories as no - hopers and Labour MPs as nobodies will beat off both parties in different parts of Scotland.
  • It is very unfair, however, to condemn all ‘banded’ horses as no hopers.
  • They went into the game as no hopers, a team that had no right, said the critics, to even contemplate coming close to Tyrone.


Late Old English hopa (noun), hopian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoop (noun), hopen (verb), and German hoffen (verb).

  • The word hope is an ancient Germanic term. That hope springs eternal is thanks to the poet Alexander Pope, who wrote in his Essay on Man in 1732: ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Man never is, but always to be blessed.’ See also Pandora's box

Words that rhyme with hope

aslope, cope, dope, elope, grope, interlope, lope, mope, nope, ope, pope, rope, scope, soap, taupe, tope, trope

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hope

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