- providing no hope; beyond optimism or hope; desperate: a hopeless case of cancer.
- without hope; despairing: hopeless grief.
- impossible to accomplish, solve, resolve, etc.: Balancing my budget is hopeless.
- not able to learn or act, perform, or work as desired; inadequate for the purpose: As a bridge player, you're hopeless.
Origin of hopeless
SynonymsSee more synonyms for hopeless on Thesaurus.com
1. irremediable, remediless, incurable. 2. forlorn, disconsolate, dejected.
2. Hopeless, despairing, despondent, desperate all describe an absence of hope. Hopeless is used of a feeling of futility and passive abandonment of oneself to fate: Hopeless and grim, he still clung to the cliff. Despairing refers to the loss of hope in regard to a particular situation, whether important or trivial; it suggests an intellectual judgment concerning probabilities: despairing of victory; despairing of finding his gloves. Despondent always suggests melancholy and depression; it refers to an emotional state rather than to an intellectual judgment: Despondent over ill health, he killed himself. She became despondent and suspicious. Desperate conveys a suggestion of recklessness resulting from loss of hope: As the time grew shorter, he became desperate. It may also refer to something arising from extreme need or danger: a desperate remedy; a desperate situation. See also despair.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hopeless
Society itself must be changed, right out from under our hopeless cases.No Gods, No Cops, No Masters
January 1, 2015
Anyone who takes pot shots at a lovely wading bird is a hopeless defective, in my view, an evolutionary mistake.Can Carl Hiaasen Save Florida?
September 19, 2014
The Economist cover in 2000 dubbed it “The Hopeless Continent,” with a photo of a grinning, heavily armed soldier.How I Got Addicted to Africa (and Wrote a Thriller About It)
September 9, 2014
This year, the president is asking Congress for $500 million to train and equip the very rebels Obama thinks are hopeless.Obama Stifled Hillary’s Syria Plans and Ignored Her Iraq Warnings for Years
August 14, 2014
Mumford Sons, “Hopeless Wanderer” That one time Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis had a jam session.Andrew Garfield in ‘We Exist’ and More Celebrities in Music Videos
May 18, 2014
He knew that his case was hopeless, and he would not thaw even to the priest.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
In a land of great wealth, families must not live in hopeless poverty.
But four against one—and such a four as these—was hopeless odds.Way of the Lawless
Still remained that hopeless question: What should he do with himself?Ester Ried Yet Speaking
It is the sensible schemes, unfortunately, that are hopeless in England.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
- having or offering no hope
- impossible to analyse or solve
- unable to learn, function, etc
- informal without skill or ability
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 hopeless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper