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[hohp-fuh l] /ˈhoʊp fəl/
full of hope; expressing hope:
His hopeful words stimulated optimism.
exciting hope; promising advantage or success:
a hopeful prospect.
a person who shows promise or aspires to success:
the Democratic presidential hopeful.
Origin of hopeful
First recorded in 1560-70; hope + -ful
Related forms
hopefulness, noun
unhopeful, adjective
unhopefully, adverb
1. expectant; sanguine, optimistic, confident. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unhopeful
Historical Examples
  • With Bacon's death there fell to pieces all this hopeful or unhopeful movement.

  • And in this unhopeful frame of mind he dropped off in sleep.

    Being a Boy Charles Dudley Warner
  • "I will go and see," and I ran out again, still not unhopeful.

    Carette of Sark John Oxenham
  • Now, in the most unhopeful struggle it is often the thing least hoped for that comes to pass.

    A Fool For Love Francis Lynde
  • I am all unhopeful, all unpeaceful, all a desperate Languor and a tragic Futileness: I am an unspeakably untoward thing.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • But now I noticed that the pseudo-bandits wore a watchful and not unhopeful air.

  • It is true we have not yet done much in public-houses, but, as you saw just now, it is not an unhopeful field.

    Post Haste R.M. Ballantyne
  • unhopeful of any turn for the better, they regarded every change as capable only of increasing their burden.


    Maksim Gorky
  • I was weary and unhopeful, and so, perhaps, trod more safely the somewhat devious and perplexing path that lay before me.

    Rutledge Miriam Coles Harris
  • All his thronging thoughts were tinged with the gloom of his unhopeful mood; and his body sagged with his sagging spirit.

    Far to Seek Maud Diver
British Dictionary definitions for unhopeful


having or expressing hope
giving or inspiring hope; promising
a person considered to be on the brink of success (esp in the phrase a young hopeful)
Derived Forms
hopefulness, noun
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 unhopeful



c.1200, from hope + -ful. As a noun, "one on whom hopes are set," from 1720. Related: Hopefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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