verb (used with object), hoped, hop·ing.

to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.

verb (used without object), hoped, hop·ing.

to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.
Archaic. to place trust; rely (usually followed by in).


    hope against hope, to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it: We are hoping against hope for a change in her condition.

Origin of hope

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English hopa; cognate with Dutch hoop, German Hoffe; (v.) Middle English hopen, Old English hopian
Related formshop·er, nounhop·ing·ly, adverbself-hope, nounun·hop·ing, adjectiveun·hop·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for hope




Anthony, pen name of Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins.
BobLeslie Townes Hope, 1903–2003, U.S. comedian, born in England.
John,1868–1936, U.S. educator.
a town in SW Arkansas.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hope

Contemporary Examples of hope

Historical Examples of hope

  • I will not punish your fault so severely as Alcibiades ventured to hope.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I hope I'll have the old Bines philosophy and the young Bines spirit.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • My hope is weak that I shall ever again see you, yet it is possible.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • “I hope he will yet give the mounseer a good shaking,” muttered Smallbones.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • But that Hope loved him ardently there was no doubt, however it might be explained.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

British Dictionary definitions for hope



(sometimes plural) a feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfilmenthis hope for peace was justified; their hopes were dashed
a reasonable ground for this feelingthere is still hope
a person or thing that gives cause for hope
a thing, situation, or event that is desiredmy hope is that prices will fall
not a hope or some hope used ironically to express little confidence that expectations will be fulfilled


(tr; takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to desire (something) with some possibility of fulfilmentwe hope you can come; I hope to tell you
(intr often foll by for) to have a wish (for a future event, situation, etc)
(tr; takes a clause as object) to trust, expect, or believewe hope that this is satisfactory
Derived Formshoper, noun

Word Origin for hope

Old English hopa; related to Old Frisian hope, Dutch hoop, Middle High German hoffe



Anthony, real name Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins. 1863–1933, English novelist; author of The Prisoner of Zenda (1894)
Bob, real name Leslie Townes Hope. 1903–2003, US comedian and comic actor, born in England. His films include The Cat and the Canary (1939), Road to Morocco (1942), and The Paleface (1947). He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1998
David (Michael). Baron. born 1940, British churchman, Archbishop of York (1995–2005)
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 hope

Old English hopian "wish, expect, look forward (to something)," of unknown origin, a general North Sea Germanic word (cf. Old Frisian hopia, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch hopen; Middle High German hoffen "to hope," borrowed from Low German). Some suggest a connection with hop (v.) on the notion of "leaping in expectation" [Klein]. Related: Hoped; hoping.


Old English hopa, from hope (v.). Cf. Old Frisian and Middle Dutch hope, Dutch hoop, all from their respective verbs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hope


In addition to the idioms beginning with hope

  • hope against hope
  • hope springs eternal

also see:

  • great white hope
  • in hopes of
  • live in (hope of)
  • not a hope in hell
  • pin one's hopes on
  • while there's life, there's hope
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.