Definition of "despair" []

  • To lose all hope: despaired of reaching shore safely. (verb-intransitive)
  • To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat. (verb-intransitive)
  • Complete loss of hope. (noun)
  • One despaired of or causing despair: unmotivated students that are the despair of their teachers. (noun)
  • To lose or give up hope (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To give up hope of; lose hope in (verb)
  • Total loss of hope (noun)
  • A person or thing that causes hopelessness or for which there is no hope (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "despair" in a sentence
  • "Consequently, to be able to despair is an infinite advantage, and yet to be in despair is not only the worst misfortune and misery — no, it is ruination."
  • "But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope."
  • "Among the ranks of reformers I have spoken to, a kind of despair is already setting in."