despair Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “despair” in the English Dictionary

"despair" in British English

See all translations

despairnoun [U]

uk   /dɪˈspeər/ us   /dɪˈsper/
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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

despairverb [I]

uk   /dɪˈspeər/ us   /dɪˈsper/
despairing
adjective uk   /dɪˈspeə.rɪŋ/ us   /dɪˈsper.ɪŋ/
a despairing glance/cry
despairingly
adverb uk   /dɪˈspeə.rɪŋ.li/ us   /dɪˈsper.ɪŋ.li/
He rubbed his hand despairingly over his face.
(Definition of despair from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"despair" in American English

See all translations

despairnoun [U]

us   /dɪˈspeər/
a feeling of being without hope or of not being able to improve a situation: A few sad moments doesn’t imply feelings of despair. She flung up her arms in despair and wailed.

despairverb [I]

us   /dɪˈsper, -ˈspær/
to lose hope or be without hope: Don’t despair – things will improve. He began to despair of ever finding a job.
(Definition of despair from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “despair”
in Korean 절망…
in Arabic يَأس…
in Malaysian putus harapan…
in French (se) désespérer (de)…
in Russian отчаяние…
in Chinese (Traditional) 絕望…
in Italian disperazione, sconforto…
in Turkish umutsuzluk, çaresizlik…
in Polish rozpacz…
in Spanish desesperar, perder la esperanza…
in Vietnamese thất vọng…
in Portuguese desespero…
in Thai สิ้นหวัง…
in German verzweifeln…
in Catalan desesperació…
in Japanese 絶望…
in Chinese (Simplified) 绝望…
in Indonesian putus asa…
What is the pronunciation of despair?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“despair” in British English

“despair” in American English

Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
by ,
May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

Read More 

Word of the Day

shade

to prevent direct light from shining on something

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More