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English definition of “desperate”

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.

desperate adjective (WANTING)

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

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 as he may have a gun.
(Definition of desperate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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