View synonyms for desperately


[ des-per-it-lee, -prit- ]


  1. in a reckless or dangerous way because of hopelessness or urgency:

    In the movie, he’s the object of an intense police manhunt and scrambles desperately around Belfast trying to escape.

  2. in a way that shows urgent need or desire:

    He is highly motivated to put his all into everything he does, trying desperately to prove himself.

  3. to a very serious or dangerous degree that leaves little hope:

    People without medical insurance may often suffer without care until they are desperately ill.

  4. extremely or excessively:

    My weekend will be desperately dull, as I've been on vacation all week and have to catch up with work.

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Other Words From

  • qua·si-des·per·ate·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

“Otherwise, it was a desperate, vomitous attack on every American who bothered to vote,” he said.

Tetzlaff proposed capturing that water, treating and reselling it to Southern California utilities, which are desperate for more local supplies.

By that point, he was desperate to get his inner life back on track and hoped that therapy might make a difference.

People are getting so desperate and it’s our own country’s fault.

The company was cofounded by Hennes Weiss, an Austrian music promoter, who is desperate to revive the live-music scene that is currently locked down across much of Europe.

From Fortune

He exploited a physique that most would try desperately to diminish.

She seemed to create her own world and you desperately wanted to be part of it.

Pro-pipeline Democrats, meanwhile, appeared to be searching desperately for ways to turn a crushing defeat into a moral victory.

And the show desperately needed the likes of Parker to throw Red off his game, to put a stop to his swagger.

Their community, their city, their country, desperately needs them.

At last Aristide fed him desperately, dandled him eventually to sleep, and returned to an excited pillow.

She is immensely rich, one of the ablest political women in London, and Jack is desperately in love with her.

I sometimes think he loved that girl desperately, and would have made her an idolatrous husband.

At the end of the first shocked instant, they both laughed wildly, desperately.

Investigation showed three of the guerrillas dead and three more desperately wounded.