forlorn hope


noun
  1. a perilous or desperate enterprise.

  2. a vain hope.

  1. Obsolete. a group of soldiers assigned to perform some unusually dangerous service.

Origin of forlorn hope

1
1530–40; folk-etymological alteration of Dutch verloren hoop literally, lost troop

Words Nearby forlorn hope

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use forlorn hope in a sentence

  • "I wasn't joking last night when I told Goodell that this was something of a forlorn hope," he said.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • "The high and mighty sent me out to lead a forlorn hope," Mac dryly responded.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • The same old battalions being called on again and again to do the forlorn hope sort of business.

  • Miles, leading the forlorn hope, was soon to pay the price of his daring.

  • It was a forlorn hope, in a forlorn cause, and it proved futile.

    Hidden Gold | Wilder Anthony

British Dictionary definitions for forlorn hope

forlorn hope

noun
  1. a hopeless or desperate enterprise

  2. a faint hope

  1. obsolete a group of soldiers assigned to an extremely dangerous duty

Origin of forlorn hope

1
C16 (in the obsolete sense): changed (by folk etymology) from Dutch verloren hoop lost troop, from verloren, past participle of verliezen to lose + hoop troop (literally: heap)

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