Definitions for Desperateˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Desperate

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

des•per•ateˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt(adj.)

  1. reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency:

    a desperate killer.

  2. having an urgent need, desire, etc.:

    desperate for attention.

  3. very serious or dangerous:

    a desperate situation.

  4. giving all:

    a desperate attempt.

  5. extreme or excessive:

    desperate haste.

  6. undertaken out of despair or as a last resort.

  7. having no hope; giving in to despair.

  8. extremely bad; shocking.

Origin of desperate:

1350–1400; ME < L dēspērātus, ptp. of dēspērāre to despair


Princeton's WordNet

  1. desperate(adj)

    a person who is frightened and in need of help

    "they prey on the hopes of the desperate"

  2. despairing, desperate(adj)

    arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope

    "a despairing view of the world situation"; "the last despairing plea of the condemned criminal"; "a desperate cry for help"; "helpless and desperate--as if at the end of his tether"; "her desperate screams"

  3. desperate, do-or-die(a)(adj)

    desperately determined

    "do-or-die revolutionaries"; "a do-or-die conflict"

  4. desperate(adj)

    (of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair

    "a desperate criminal"; "taken hostage of desperate men"

  5. desperate, heroic(adj)

    showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort

    "made a last desperate attempt to reach the climber"; "the desperate gallantry of our naval task forces marked the turning point in the Pacific war"- G.C.Marshall; "they took heroic measures to save his life"

  6. desperate(adj)

    showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire

    "felt a desperate urge to confess"; "a desperate need for recognition"

  7. desperate, dire(adj)

    fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless

    "a desperate illness"; "on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall; "a dire emergency"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. desperate(adjective)ˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt

    so worried that you would do anything

    desperate people forced to flee their country; a desperate attempt to get out of the burning building

  2. desperateˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt

    extremely bad

    His finances are now in a desperate state.

  3. desperateˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt

    wanting sth very much

    desperate to play in next week's match


  1. desperate(Adjective)

    Being filled with, or in a state of despair; hopeless.

    I was so desperate at one point, I even went to see a loan shark.

  2. desperate(Adjective)

    Reckless abandon in the pursuit of an extreme desire.

  3. desperate(Adjective)

    Extremely intense.

  4. Origin: From desperatus, past participle of despero

Webster Dictionary

  1. Desperate(adj)

    without hope; given to despair; hopeless

  2. Desperate(adj)

    beyond hope; causing despair; extremely perilous; irretrievable; past cure, or, at least, extremely dangerous; as, a desperate disease; desperate fortune

  3. Desperate(adj)

    proceeding from, or suggested by, despair; without regard to danger or safety; reckless; furious; as, a desperate effort

  4. Desperate(adj)

    extreme, in a bad sense; outrageous; -- used to mark the extreme predominance of a bad quality

  5. Desperate(noun)

    one desperate or hopeless


  1. Desperate

    Desperate is a 1947 suspense film noir directed by Anthony Mann.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desperate' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3806

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desperate' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2918

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Desperate' in Adjectives Frequency: #493

Anagrams of Desperate

  1. Departees

Translations for Desperate

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


(sometimes used loosely) despairingly reckless or violent

She was desperate to get into university; a desperate criminal.

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