- reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency: a desperate killer.
- having an urgent need, desire, etc.: desperate for attention; desperate to find a job.
- leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous: a desperate illness.
- extremely bad; intolerable or shocking: clothes in desperate taste.
- extreme or excessive.
- making a final, ultimate effort; giving all: a desperate attempt to save a life.
- actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
- having no hope; giving in to despair.
- Obsolete. a desperado.
Origin of desperate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for desperateness
The desperateness of the situation was, however, manifest to all.Admiral Farragut
A. T. Mahan
Judge of the efforts you have to make and of the desperateness of the struggle.Balzac
It is a sign of desperateness indeed; yea, of desperate madness.The Life and Death of Mr Badman
In the moment of that thought the desperateness of his situation dawned upon him.Martin Eden
That "must" spells out the desperateness of the need and the strength of His love.Quiet Talks about Jesus
S. D. Gordon
- careless of danger, as from despair; utterly reckless
- (of an act) reckless; risky
- used or undertaken in desperation or as a last resortdesperate measures
- critical; very gravein desperate need
- (often postpositive and foll by for) in distress and having a great need or desire
- moved by or showing despair or hopelessness; despairing
Word Origin and History for desperateness
early 15c., "despairing, hopeless," from Latin desperatus "given up, despaired of," past participle of desperare (see despair (v.)). Sense of "driven to recklessness" is from late 15c.; weakened sense of "having a great desire for" is from 1950s. Related: Desperately.