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desperation

[des-puh-rey-shuh n]
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noun
  1. the state of being desperate or of having the recklessness of despair.
  2. the act or fact of despairing; despair.
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Origin of desperation

1325–75; Middle English desperacioun < Latin dēspērātiōn- (stem of dēspērātiō). See desperate, -ion

Synonym study

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


Examples from the Web for desperation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But, nerved as he was by desperation, he found the task greater than he could compass.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • At last in desperation you embody it in a poem, an essay, a story.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • Burke inquired in desperation before the plaintive outburst.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Her desperation lent her invention; just in this one way he must not find her out.

  • Perhaps in desperation you may assume the role of cook yourself.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson


British Dictionary definitions for desperation

desperation

noun
  1. desperate recklessness
  2. the act of despairing or the state of being desperate
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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

Word Origin and History for desperation

n.

mid-14c., from Middle French désperation or directly from Latin desperationem (nominative desperatio) "despair, hopelessness," noun of action from past participle stem of desperare "lose hope" (see despair (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper