desperate definition, meaning - what is desperate in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “desperate”

See all translations

desperate

adjective uk   /ˈdes.pər.ət/  us   /-pɚ-/

desperate adjective (SERIOUS)

C2 very serious or bad: desperate poverty a desperate shortage of food/supplies The situation is desperate - we have no food, very little water and no medical supplies. very great or extreme: The earthquake survivors are in desperate need of help. He has a desperate desire to succeed.informal I'm in a desperate hurry.
More examples

desperate adjective (WANTING)

B2 [usually after verb] needing or wanting something very much: They are desperate for help.UK humorous I'm desperate for a drink! [+ to infinitive] UK humorous He was desperate to tell someone his good news.
More examples

desperate adjective (RISKY)

B2 feeling that you have no hope and are ready to do anything to change the bad situation you are in: The doctors made one last desperate attempt/effort to save the boy's life. Desperate measures are needed to deal with the growing drug problem. They made a desperate plea for help. willing to be violent, and therefore dangerous: This man is desperate and should not be approached since he may have a gun.
More examples
(Definition of desperate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of desperate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “desperate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

a game in hand

if a sports team has a game in hand over other teams in a competition, it still has another game to play in which it can gain points

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More