full of hope; expressing hope: His hopeful words stimulated optimism.
exciting hope; promising advantage or success: a hopeful prospect.


a person who shows promise or aspires to success: the Democratic presidential hopeful.

Origin of hopeful

First recorded in 1560–70; hope + -ful
Related formshope·ful·ness, nounun·hope·ful, adjectiveun·hope·ful·ly, adverb

Synonyms for hopeful

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hopefulness

Contemporary Examples of hopefulness

Historical Examples of hopefulness

  • "There's a chance," said Fritz, with his first sign of hopefulness.

  • She has grown fretful, and all her brightness and hopefulness have vanished.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • He could listen to words of trust and hopefulness, and yet not smile at her credulity.

  • Say it out, girl; tell me, I'd be the better for a little of your father's hopefulness, eh?'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • At all events, the hopefulness of an invalid was not to be discouraged.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for hopefulness



having or expressing hope
giving or inspiring hope; promising


a person considered to be on the brink of success (esp in the phrase a young hopeful)
Derived Formshopefulness, noun
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 hopefulness



c.1200, from hope + -ful. As a noun, "one on whom hopes are set," from 1720. Related: Hopefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper