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English definition of “desperate”

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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.
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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.
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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.
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(Definition of desperate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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