Definitions for despairdɪˈspɛər

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. loss of hope; hopelessness.

  2. a source of hopelessness:

    to be the despair of one's teachers.

  3. (v.i.)to lose, give up, or be without hope:

    to despair of humanity.

  4. (v.t.)Obs. to give up hope of.

* Syn: despair , desperation , despondency refer to a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with. despair suggests total loss of hope, usu. accompanied by apathy and low spirits: He sank into despair after the bankruptcy. desperation is a state in which loss of hope drives a person to struggle against circumstances, with utter disregard of consequences: In desperation, they knocked down the door. despondency is a state of deep gloom due to loss of hope and a sense of futility and resignation: despondency after a serious illness.

Origin of despair:

1275–1325; < OF despoir (n.), < L dēspērāre to be without hope =dē-de - +spērāre to hope, der. of spēs hope


Princeton's WordNet

  1. despair, desperation(noun)

    a state in which all hope is lost or absent

    "in the depths of despair"; "they were rescued from despair at the last minute"; "courage born of desperation"

  2. despair(verb)

    the feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well

    "they moaned in despair and dismay"; "one harsh word would send her into the depths of despair"

  3. despair(verb)

    abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart

    "Don't despair--help is on the way!"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. despair(noun)ɪˈspɛər

    a feeling of great unhappiness and hopelessness

    his despair at losing his wife; to be in despair over the political unrest


  1. despair(Noun)

    Loss of hope; utter hopelessness; complete despondency.

    He turned around in despair, aware that he was not going to survive

  2. despair(Noun)

    That which is despaired of.

  3. despair(Verb)

    To give up as beyond hope or expectation; to despair of.

  4. despair(Verb)

    To cause to despair.

  5. despair(Verb)

    To be hopeless; to have no hope; to give up all hope or expectation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Despair(verb)

    to be hopeless; to have no hope; to give up all hope or expectation; -- often with of

  2. Despair(verb)

    to give up as beyond hope or expectation; to despair of

  3. Despair(verb)

    to cause to despair

  4. Despair(noun)

    loss of hope; utter hopelessness; complete despondency

  5. Despair(noun)

    that which is despaired of


  1. Despair

    Despair is one of the Endless, fictional characters from Neil Gaiman's comic book series, The Sandman. Despair is the twin sister of Desire. She is squat, flabby and pale-skinned, with black hair, gray eyes, and pointed teeth. Her voice is little more than a whisper, and she has no odor, but her shadow smells musky and pungent, like the skin of a snake. She does not wear clothes. On a finger of her left hand she wears a ring with a hook attached to it, with which she habitually carves her flesh. The hook is her sigil in the galleries of the other characters. Her realm is a gray space in which floats a white fog and countless mirrors, which are connected to mirrors in the human world, through which she looks on those who are in despair. The only other inhabitants of her realm are her pet rats. Despair sometimes acts together with Desire when she/he is plotting against the elder Endless, most notably when Despair takes on a challenge with Morpheus over the life of Joshua Abraham Norton, seemingly at Desire's bidding. She is less distanced from the family than Desire, though, and seems to have some feeling at least for Delirium, and also seems to miss Destruction so much that she is able to manipulate Dream into feeling guilty over Destruction's abadoning of his duty. She does not say much, and consequently appears brusque, but her speech at Morpheus' wake in The Wake reveals her sympathy and feeling for him.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'despair' in Nouns Frequency: #2519

Anagrams of despair

  1. praised

  2. aspired

  3. diapers

Translations for despair

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the state of having given up hope

He was filled with despair at the news.

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