- 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 on Thesaurus.com
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 hopelessness
When I asked why he stayed as long as he did, James said hopelessness kept him hooked.The Secret World of Pickup Artist Julien Blanc
December 1, 2014
Some express a feeling of hopelessness and that their intractable sadness will never abate.'Genie, You're Free': Suicide Is Not Liberation
August 12, 2014
When the talks crashed, it created a sense of hopelessness that contributed to the environment in which the violence took place.Everyone Says John Kerry Should Stay Out of the Middle East
July 13, 2014
But even her resilient stance carries a strong sense of hopelessness.Homophobia in Russia Is Taking a Kafkaesque Turn
June 9, 2014
The low pay, the poor lights, the fleabag hotels, the maniacal fans, the hopelessness of it all.The Great Paul Hemphill Celebrates the Long Gone Birmingham Barons
March 29, 2014
He realized its hopelessness when K. lapsed into whimsical humor.
It was as if he must make up for long arrears of hopelessness.
An expression of pain, and hopelessness, and sorrow swept across his features.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Hopelessness had dulled every sense: not even a start at the sound of his voice!Miracles of Our Lord
And through it all a great despair and hopelessness sounded in his voice.The Law-Breakers
- 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 hopelessness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper