Dictionary.com

desperate

[ des-per-it, -prit ]
/ ˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt /
Save This Word!

adjective
noun
Obsolete. a desperado.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "IS" VS. "ARE"
"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?

Origin of desperate

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērāre “to be without hope, despair”; see despair, -ate1

synonym study for desperate

3. See hopeless.

OTHER WORDS FROM desperate

des·per·ate·ly, adverbdes·per·ate·ness, nounqua·si-des·per·ate, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH desperate

desperate , disparate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use desperate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for desperate

desperate
/ (ˈdɛspərɪt, -prɪt) /

adjective
careless of danger, as from despair; utterly reckless
(of an act) reckless; risky
used or undertaken in desperation or as a last resortdesperate measures
critical; very gravein desperate need
(often postpositive and foll by for) in distress and having a great need or desire
moved by or showing despair or hopelessness; despairing

Derived forms of desperate

desperately, adverbdesperateness, noun

Word Origin for desperate

C15: from Latin dēspērāre to have no hope; see despair
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
FEEDBACK