[dih-spond or especially for 2, des-pond]

verb (used without object)

to be depressed by loss of hope, confidence, or courage.


Origin of despond

1670–80; < Latin dēspondēre to give up, lose heart, promise, equivalent to dē- de- + spondēre to promise
Related formsde·spond·er, nounde·spond·ing·ly, adverbun·de·spond·ing, adjectiveun·de·spond·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for despond

surrender, sadden, dishearten

Examples from the Web for despond

Contemporary Examples of despond

  • A week after the inauguration, his wife, Lady Bird, watched with worry as a “slough of despond” surrounded her husband.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Mad Men Era: When Hope Was Cheap

    Jonathan Darman

    March 19, 2012

Historical Examples of despond

  • And yet, amidst all my hopes, there are hours when I tremble and despond!

  • Be comforted; be not dejected; do not despond, my dearest and best-beloved friend.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Should we fail to have news of his capture in Dauphiny, we need not, nevertheless, despond.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Besides, I try to look on the best side, and not to despond.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell

  • Suiting the action to the word, he flung his burden into the Slough of Despond.

British Dictionary definitions for despond


verb (dɪˈspɒnd)

(intr) to lose heart or hope; become disheartened; despair

noun (ˈdɛspɒnd, dɪˈspɒnd)

archaic lack of hope; despondency
Derived Formsdespondingly, adverb

Word Origin for despond

C17: from Latin dēspondēre to promise, make over to, yield, lose heart, from de- + spondēre to promise
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