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See more synonyms for despairing on Thesaurus.com
  1. given to despair or hopelessness.
  2. indicating despair: a despairing look.
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Origin of despairing

First recorded in 1585–95; despair + -ing2
Related formsde·spair·ing·ly, adverbun·de·spair·ing, adjectiveun·de·spair·ing·ly, adverb

Synonym study

1. See hopeless.

Antonyms for despairing

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for despairingly

desperately, sadly, dispiritedly, cynically, darkly, dejectedly, desolately, despairingly, despondently, disconsolately, dismally, emptily, gloomily, pessimistically

Examples from the Web for despairingly

Historical Examples of despairingly

  • "You don't seem to realize the position you're in," the father insisted, despairingly.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "I have done every thing, Angela," said Pauline, despairingly.

  • Despairingly did he struggle against this gradual invasion of his being.

  • “You accept that part of my letter, but not my other request,” she said, despairingly.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • As he felt his strength failing he looked around him despairingly.

    The Young Miner

    Horatio Alger, Jr.

British Dictionary definitions for despairingly


  1. marked by or resulting from despair; hopeless or desperate
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Derived Formsdespairingly, 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