Definition of despair in English:


Line breaks: des|pair
Pronunciation: /dɪˈspɛː


[mass noun]


[no object] Back to top  


be the despair of

Cause to lose hope: such students can be the despair of conscientious teachers
More example sentences
  • It becomes in a way the despair of philosophers, just like it was the despair of Proust's publishers.
  • After a few games he was the despair of every British dad on the touchline.
  • The voice is the despair of typists and stenographers: there seems nothing to cling to, no pauses, no paragraphing, no full stops.
be the bane of, be the scourge of, be a burden on, be a trial to, be a thorn in the flesh/side of, be a bother to, be the ruin of, be the death of


Middle English: the noun via Anglo-Norman French from Old French desespeir; the verb from Old French desperer, from Latin desperare, from de- 'down from' + sperare 'to hope'.

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a small amount; a little