feeling or showing profound hopelessness, dejection, discouragement, or gloom: despondent about failing health.

Origin of despondent

1690–1700; < Latin dēspondent- (stem of dēspondēns), present participle of dēspondēre. See despond, -ent
Related formsde·spond·ent·ly, adverbpre·de·spond·ent, adjectivequa·si-de·spond·ent, adjectivequa·si-de·spond·ent·ly, adverbun·de·spond·ent, adjectiveun·de·spond·ent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for despondent

disheartened, downhearted, melancholy, blue.

Synonym study

Antonyms for despondent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for despondent

Contemporary Examples of despondent

Historical Examples of despondent

  • "It won't work; you never could do it," objected Dixon, with despondent conviction.


    W. A. Fraser

  • I cannot honestly say now whether I ever shared this despondent view or not.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Mournful, despondent, half broken-hearted, she resumed her journey.

  • With a heavy sigh and a despondent air, Arthur Clennam slowly rose.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • They fell into a despondent reverie, with their chins in their bosoms.

British Dictionary definitions for despondent



downcast or disheartened; lacking hope or courage; dejected
Derived Formsdespondence, noundespondency, noundespondently, 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

Word Origin and History for despondent

1690s, from Latin despondentem (nominative despondens), present participle of despondere (see despondence). Related: Despondently (1670s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper