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[dih-spon-duh nt] /dɪˈspɒn dənt/
feeling or showing profound hopelessness, dejection, discouragement, or gloom:
despondent about failing health.
Origin of despondent
1690-1700; < Latin dēspondent- (stem of dēspondēns), present participle of dēspondēre. See despond, -ent
Related forms
despondently, adverb
predespondent, adjective
quasi-despondent, adjective
quasi-despondently, adverb
undespondent, adjective
undespondently, adverb
disheartened, downhearted, melancholy, blue.
happy, hopeful.
Synonym Study
See hopeless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for despondent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It won't work; you never could do it," objected Dixon, with despondent conviction.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • I cannot honestly say now whether I ever shared this despondent view or not.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Mournful, despondent, half broken-hearted, she resumed her journey.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • With a heavy sigh and a despondent air, Arthur Clennam slowly rose.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • They fell into a despondent reverie, with their chins in their bosoms.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for despondent


downcast or disheartened; lacking hope or courage; dejected
Derived Forms
despondence, noun
despondency, noun
despondently, adverb
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 despondent

1690s, from Latin despondentem (nominative despondens), present participle of despondere (see despondence). Related: Despondently (1670s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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