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desperate

[des-per-it, -prit] /ˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt/
adjective
1.
reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency:
a desperate killer.
2.
having an urgent need, desire, etc.: desperate for attention;
desperate to find a job.
3.
leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous:
a desperate illness.
4.
extremely bad; intolerable or shocking:
clothes in desperate taste.
5.
extreme or excessive.
6.
making a final, ultimate effort; giving all:
a desperate attempt to save a life.
7.
actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
8.
having no hope; giving in to despair.
noun
9.
Obsolete. a desperado.
Origin of desperate
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērāre to despair; see -ate1
Related forms
desperately, adverb
desperateness, noun
quasi-desperate, adjective
quasi-desperately, adverb
Can be confused
desperate, disparate.
Synonyms
1. rash, frantic. 3. grave. 8. forlorn, desolate.
Antonyms
1. careful. 3, 8. hopeful.
Synonym Study
3. See hopeless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for desperateness
Historical Examples
  • 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 Frederick Lawton
  • It is a sign of desperateness indeed; yea, of desperate madness.

  • In the moment of that thought the desperateness of his situation dawned upon him.

    Martin Eden Jack London
  • That "must" spells out the desperateness of the need and the strength of His love.

  • And live to the end he did, smiling through all desperateness and extremity.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • Joan was keenly aware of the desperateness of the situation.

    Adventure Jack London
  • The world's condition spells out the desperateness of that need.

  • The desperateness of my condition was, for a moment, forgotten.

    Edgar Huntley Charles Brockden Brown
  • So it was with those people—their desperateness was without an object.

British Dictionary definitions for desperateness

desperate

/ˈdɛspərɪt; -prɪt/
adjective
1.
careless of danger, as from despair; utterly reckless
2.
(of an act) reckless; risky
3.
used or undertaken in desperation or as a last resort: desperate measures
4.
critical; very grave: in desperate need
5.
often postpositive and foll by for. in distress and having a great need or desire
6.
moved by or showing despair or hopelessness; despairing
Derived Forms
desperately, adverb
desperateness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēspērāre to have no hope; see despair
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desperateness

desperate

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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