- loss of hope; hopelessness.
- someone or something that causes hopelessness: He is the despair of his mother.
- to lose, give up, or be without hope (often followed by of): to despair of humanity.
- Obsolete. to give up hope of.
Origin of despair
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for despaired
The only common ground to be found in this despaired summer is that unlike my kids, those in Gaza simply were in the wrong place.Gaza, You're No Good For My Marriage
August 9, 2014
Many of his supporters had despaired that the regime would ever let him out.Mandela: The Miracle Maker
December 5, 2013
All these years later, the carnage continues and many of us have despaired at ever ending it.Michael Daly: My Last Day With JFK
November 11, 2013
Take the gay and lesbian community: for two years they despaired, imagining Obama had forgotten the support they had given him.Obama’s Second-Term Surprise: Politics Not As Usual
November 8, 2012
Darkly pessimistic towards the end, he despaired of ever liberating art from the art world.Robert Hughes: A Fierce Critic and Powerful Voice Now Silenced
August 10, 2012
Phoebe, looking at her attentively, despaired of getting any nearer the truth from any of them.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
I take cases that others have despaired of, and I cure them right off.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
Had SHE ever despaired of seeing him again—on this earth and in the flesh?The Portygee
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
His life was despaired of, and those about him began to suspect some evil spell.The Phantom World
Madame, you see, despaired by now of controlling the impropriety of her niece's expressions.Scaramouche
- (intr often foll by of) to lose or give up hopeI despair of his coming
- (tr) obsolete to give up hope of; lose hope in
- total loss of hope
- a person or thing that causes hopelessness or for which there is no hope
Word Origin and History for despaired
c.1300, from Anglo-French despeir, Old French despoir, from desperer (see despair (v.)). Replaced native wanhope.
early 14c., from stem of Old French desperer "be dismayed, lose hope, despair," from Latin desperare "to despair, to lose all hope," from de- "without" + sperare "to hope," from spes "hope" (see speed). Related: Despaired; despairing; despairingly.