[ dih-spair-ing ]
See synonyms for despairing on
  1. given to despair or hopelessness.

  2. indicating despair: a despairing look.

Origin of despairing

First recorded in 1585–95; despair + -ing2

synonym study For despairing

1. See hopeless.

Opposites for despairing

Other words from despairing

  • de·spair·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·de·spair·ing, adjective
  • un·de·spair·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby despairing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use despairing in a sentence

  • despairing, he is consoled by an elder statesman of his party.

    Trollope v Hardy | David Frum | January 28, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • He tried the effect of ridicule on the wretched and despairing Louis; and to one of his arguments, he at last extorted a reply.

  • On landing, the old prince, trembling from top to toe, with despairing glance clutched the arm of the Governor for protection.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • When she could hold a pen in her hand, she sent a despairing letter to Madame Valmonde.

  • His art brings rest and tranquillity to the wearied and despairing, and she did not speak again until they had reached the house.

    The Fifth String   | John Philip Sousa
  • Being to leeward, they could hear despairing cries distinctly, and four or five human beings were seen clinging to the side.

British Dictionary definitions for despairing


/ (dɪˈspɛərɪŋ) /

  1. marked by or resulting from despair; hopeless or desperate

Derived forms of despairing

  • despairingly, 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