a perilous or desperate enterprise.
a vain hope.
Obsolete. a group of soldiers assigned to perform some unusually dangerous service.
Origin of forlorn hope
1530–40; folk-etymological alteration of Dutch verloren hoop literally, lost troop
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for forlorn hope
Historical Examples of forlorn hope
Dick Prince was the only one who lost his life in the “forlorn-hope.”
But Skinflint is an invaluable fellow to lead a forlorn-hope.
For what seemed like an age there was no sign of our forlorn-hope swimmer.
No quest is too perilous for him, no forlorn-hope too daring.
Mackinnon had promised a company to the forlorn-hope leader, if he survived.
British Dictionary definitions for forlorn hope
a hopeless or desperate enterprise
a faint hope
obsolete a group of soldiers assigned to an extremely dangerous duty
Word Origin for forlorn hope
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
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