forlorn hope


noun

a perilous or desperate enterprise.
a vain hope.
Obsolete. a group of soldiers assigned to perform some unusually dangerous service.

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Origin of forlorn hope

1530–40; folk-etymological alteration of Dutch verloren hoop literally, lost troop
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for forlorn hope

British Dictionary definitions for forlorn hope

forlorn hope

noun

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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012