Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “desperate”

desperate

adjective (RISKY)    /ˈdes.pər.ət/ US  /-pɚ-/
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.Dangers and threats willing to be violent, and therefore dangerous: This man is desperate and should not be approached as he may have a gun.Violent or aggressiveUnkind, cruel and unfeelingTreating people or animals badly
(Definition of desperate adjective (RISKY) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of desperate

Definitions of “desperate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

warm-up

something that you do to prepare yourself for an activity, especially gentle exercises before a physical activity

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More