Definition of despair in English:


Syllabification: de·spair
Pronunciation: /dəˈsper


The complete loss or absence of hope: driven to despair, he throws himself under a train in despair, I hit the bottle
More example sentences
  • Finally, never leave the examination hall in despair, however hopeless things may seem.
  • As if in pain, as if in despair, everyone felt the sadness and everyone felt fear as well.
  • He says every morning he begins his work with hope, and every evening he ends in despair.


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Lose or be without hope: we should not despair he was beginning to despair of ever knowing
More example sentences
  • Others were simply despairing, sighing that it had lost its magic, that it had sold its soul to charter flights and overdevelopment.
  • He was far too young to die and I despaired that I was his only hope.
  • Some are hopeful, some are despairing and some are poignant.
lose hope, abandon hope, give up, lose heart, lose faith, be discouraged, be despondent, be demoralized, resign oneself;
be pessimistic


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'.


be the despair of

Be the cause of a feeling of hopelessness in (someone else): my handwriting was the despair of my 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.

Definition of despair in:

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