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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.


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

Examples from the Web for despairingly

Historical Examples

  • "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