Definition of desperate in English:


Line breaks: des|per|ate
Pronunciation: /ˈdɛsp(ə)rət


  • 2 [predic.] (Of a person) having a great need or desire for something: I am desperate for a cigarette [with infinitive]: other women are desperate to get back to work
    More example sentences
    • I was so desperate for the object of my craving that I almost blurted out, ‘Are you going to buy that?’
    • They were desperate for somebody to do something.
    • ‘We are desperate for community facilities in the area and here we have something that works, so we should just leave it alone,’ he told the meeting.
    in great need of, urgently requiring, craving, in want of, lacking, wanting; eager, aching, longing, yearning, hungry, thirsty, thirsting, itching, crying out, desirous
    informal dying


desperate diseases must have desperate remedies

proverb Extreme measures are justified as a response to a difficult or dangerous situation: she resorted to even more desperate remedies



More example sentences
  • She showed the desperateness of suffering, a woman's incredible patience with injustice and finally, a lowbrow grace that is not common in a world filled with pretensions.
  • And then we looked at each other for just a moment, one still moment, before the desperateness took over and we were clinging to each other as tightly as we dared.
  • Sally begged and there was desperateness in her tone.


late Middle English (in the sense 'in despair'): from Latin desperatus 'deprived of hope', past participle of desperare (see despair).

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody