• synonyms


[dih-spond or especially for 2, des-pond]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be depressed by loss of hope, confidence, or courage.
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  1. despondency.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for desponding

Historical Examples

  • “If I could do such and such a thing,” sighs the desponding youth.


    Samuel Smiles

  • "I am sorry to say I have not," was poor Jacob's reply, in a desponding voice.

  • "I can do no more, Sir John," he muttered in a desponding voice.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • In the darkest days he was able to cheer and encourage the desponding.

    Charles Carleton Coffin

    William Elliot Griffis, D. D.

  • There is a desponding melancholy in the run of the last line!

British Dictionary definitions for desponding


verb (dɪˈspɒnd)
  1. (intr) to lose heart or hope; become disheartened; despair
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noun (ˈdɛspɒnd, dɪˈspɒnd)
  1. archaic lack of hope; despondency
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Derived Formsdespondingly, adverb

Word Origin

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