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or despondence

[dih-spon-duh n-see or dih-spon-duh ns] /dɪˈspɒn dən si or dɪˈspɒn dəns/
state of being despondent; depression of spirits from loss of courage or hope; dejection.
Origin of despondency
First recorded in 1645-55; despond + -ency
Related forms
predespondency, noun
melancholy, gloom.
Synonym Study
See despair. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for despondence
Historical Examples
  • I smiled at the despondence in her tone as I extinguished the kerosene lamp-light.

  • Gloom, silence, and despondence seemed every where to prevail.

    The Eve of All-Hallows, v. 2 of 3 Matthew Weld Hartstonge
  • To stupify us into despondence, that destruction may certainly seize us?

  • Out of this mood of despondence I had to lift myself by an act of will.

    Under the Prophet in Utah Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O'Higgins
  • Of these there was no trace in her eyes, only apathy, weariness, despondence.

    Perlycross R. D. Blackmore
  • “I told you so,” said Casey, not triumphantly, but rather in a tone of despondence.

    The Guerilla Chief Mayne Reid
  • My fits of despondence were deeper, and of more frequent recurrence.

    Caleb Williams William Godwin
  • The poor woman would not quit the floor, even when, in despondence, she gave over her kneeling importunity.

  • In the train, her despondence was deepened by the thought of having to give an account of the day's experiences when she arrived.

    The Quaint Companions Leonard Merrick
  • Even the period of his bashfulness and despondence had a tender charm in looking back at it.

    The Quaint Companions Leonard Merrick
Word Origin and History for despondence

1670s, from Latin despondere "to give up, lose, lose heart, resign, to promise in marriage" (especially in phrase animam despondere, literally "give up one's soul"), from the sense of a promise to give something away, from de- "away" (see de-) + spondere "to promise" (see spondee). A condition more severe than despair.



1650s; see despondence + -cy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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