Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “despair”

See all translations

despair

noun [U] uk   /dɪˈspeər/ us    /-ˈsper/
B2 the feeling that there is no hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation: a mood/sense of despair They're in (the depths of) despair over/about the money they've lost. To her teacher's despair, Nicole never does the work that she's told to do. Their fourth year without rain drove many farmers to despair.be the despair of sb to cause someone such difficulties that they do not know how to deal with you: He's the despair of his parents because he shows no interest in getting a job.
More examples

despair

verb [I] uk   /dɪˈspeər/ us    /-ˈsper/
to feel despair about something or someone: Don't despair! We'll find a way out! I despair at/over the policies of this government. They began to despair of ever being rescued.
despairing
adjective uk   /-ˈspeə.rɪŋ/ us    /-ˈsper.ɪŋ/
a despairing glance/cry
despairingly
adverb uk   /-ˈspeə.rɪŋ.li/ us    /-ˈsper.ɪŋ.li/
He rubbed his hand despairingly over his face.
Translations of “despair”
in Korean 절망…
in Arabic يَأس…
in French (se) désespérer (de)…
in Turkish umutsuzluk, çaresizlik…
in Italian disperazione, sconforto…
in Chinese (Traditional) 絕望…
in Russian отчаяние…
in Polish rozpacz…
in Spanish desesperar, perder la esperanza…
in Portuguese desespero…
in German verzweifeln…
in Catalan desesperació…
in Japanese 絶望…
in Chinese (Simplified) 绝望…
(Definition of despair from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of despair?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “despair” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bad/hard/tough luck

said to express sympathy with someone when something bad has happened to them

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More