- given to despair or hopelessness.
- indicating despair: a despairing look.
Origin of despairing
- loss of hope; hopelessness.
- someone or something that causes hopelessness: He is the despair of his mother.
- to lose, give up, or be without hope (often followed by of): to despair of humanity.
- Obsolete. to give up hope of.
Origin of despair
SynonymsSee more synonyms for despair on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for despairing
His disturbing images are what despairing victims and survivors in Liberia hoped the world would see.The Photojournalist Who Stared Down Ebola
November 8, 2014
We were too tired to resist this outrage, but shuffled down the street, silent and despairing.The Stacks: H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire
October 4, 2014
Despairing about the length and frequency of the many fashion weeks has become a tired refrain.The Drama of Being a Model: Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill Land in Fashion Week
September 8, 2014
Despairing, Brody picks up the syringe the doctor has left for him—and injects the heroin the doctor left alongside it.Damian Lewis Spills On ‘Homeland’s’ Shocking Plot Twist and Brody’s Return
October 14, 2013
Despairing, he is consoled by an elder statesman of his party.Trollope v Hardy
January 28, 2013
He is always making his enemies sick with despairing jealousy.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Despairing of the noblesse he went among the bourgeoisie with that hope.Night and Morning, Complete
The despairing passion of her last kisses had thrilled him through and through.The Incomplete Amorist
Poor Jenkins watched her with despairing eyes, not venturing to remonstrate.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Were not those words he had just heard the despairing imprecations of Lazarus?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- marked by or resulting from despair; hopeless or desperate
- (intr often foll by of) to lose or give up hopeI despair of his coming
- (tr) obsolete to give up hope of; lose hope in
- total loss of hope
- a person or thing that causes hopelessness or for which there is no hope
Word Origin and History for despairing
c.1300, from Anglo-French despeir, Old French despoir, from desperer (see despair (v.)). Replaced native wanhope.
early 14c., from stem of Old French desperer "be dismayed, lose hope, despair," from Latin desperare "to despair, to lose all hope," from de- "without" + sperare "to hope," from spes "hope" (see speed). Related: Despaired; despairing; despairingly.