Meaning of desperate


Desperate means “having lost all hope.” If you are desperate for food, it means you are starving, possibly about to die. If you are in a desperate situation, it means things are really, really bad.

Desperate, desparate, or despirate? The word desperate is misspelled often enough that it’s the despair of English teachers. Both desperate and despair come from the same Latin verb as despair. Don’t mix it up with disparate, a totally different word that means “distinctive, different, various.”

Definitions of desperate
  1. noun

    a person who is frightened and in need of help

    “they prey on the hopes of the
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    goner, toast

    a person in desperate straits; someone doomed
    type of:

    unfortunate, unfortunate person

    a person who suffers misfortune

  2. adjective

    showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire

    “felt a
    desperate urge to confess”
    desperate need for recognition”


    requiring attention or action
  3. adjective

    arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope

    desperate cry for help”
    “helpless and
    desperate–as if at the end of his tether”
    desperate screams”



    without hope because there seems to be no possibility of comfort or success
  4. adjective

    fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless

    desperate illness”
    “”on all fronts the Allies were in a
    desperate situation due to lack of materiel”- G.C.Marshall”



    being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency
  5. adjective

    (of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair

    desperate criminal”
    “taken hostage of
    desperate men”

    dangerous, unsafe

    involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm
  6. adjective

    desperately determined




    firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination
  7. adjective

    showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort

    “made a last
    desperate attempt to reach the climber”
    desperate gallantry of our naval task forces marked the turning point in the Pacific war”- G.C.Marshall”


    brave, courageous

    possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching

Word Family

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