despondent


despondent
despondent adj Despondent, despairing, desperate, hopeless, forlorn mean having lost all or practically all hope. The same distinctions in implications and connotations are to be found in their corresponding nouns despondency, despair, desperation, hopelessness, forlornness when they denote the state or feeling of a person who has lost hope.
Despondent and despondency imply disheartenment or deep dejection arising out of a conviction that there is no longer any justification of hope or that further efforts are useless
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a despondent lover

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whenever . . . the repressed spirit of the artist. . . perceived . . . the full extent of its debacle, Mark Twain was filled with a despondent desire, a momentary purpose even, to stop writing altogether— Brooks

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we poets in our youth begin in gladness; but thereof come in the end despondency and madness— Wordsworth

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England, they said, was wont to take her defeats without despondency, and her victories without elation— Repplier

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Despairing and despair imply sometimes the passing of hope, sometimes the utter loss of hope, and often accompanying despondency
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the author . . . ended with a despairing appeal to the democracy when his jeremiads evoked no response from the upper class . . . or from the middle class— Inge

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to fortify ourselves against the ultimate disaster—which is despairTimes Lit. Sup.

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despair of her ever understanding either the terms of a contract or the nature of working conditions— Mary Austin

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the bitter weariness of a fathomless resignation and despairWolfe

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Desperate and desperation imply despair but not the cessation of effort; rather, they often suggest violence and recklessness as a last resource especially in the face of anticipated defeat or frustration
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the bitter, desperate striving unto death of the oppressed race, the damned desperation of the rebel— Rose Macaulay

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a desperate determination that nothing should interfere with her marriage with Hugh had taken possession of her— Anderson

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he was fighting a fight of desperation, and knew it— Meredith

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not knowing . . . how near my pursuer might be, I turned in desperation to meet him— Hudson

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Hopeless and hopelessness imply both the complete loss of hope and the cessation of effort
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the hopeless look in the faces of the doomed men

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The words do not necessarily suggest despondency, dejection, or gloom, for sometimes they imply acceptance or resignation
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"Why should you say such desperate things?" "No, they are not desperate. They are only hopeless"—Hardy

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not that Dr. Lavendar was hopeless; he was never hopeless of anybody... but he was wise; so he was deeply discouraged— Deland

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the little hopeless community of beaten men and yellow defeated women— Anderson

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Forlorn (see also ALONE 1) and forlornness stress utter hopelessness, but they differ from hopeless and hopelessness in implying hopelessness even in the act of undertaking something because its failure is all but certain
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[we] sit down in a forlorn skepticism— Berkeley

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poor prince, forlorn he steps . . . and proud in his despair— Keats

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Desperate, hopeless, and forlorn and their corresponding nouns are applicable not only to men, their moods, words, and acts, but to the things which make men despairing or hopeless
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1desperate straits

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the hopeless situation of a beleaguered garrison

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desperate grime and greasiness— McFee

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all the high ardor and imaginative force which the Celt has ever thrown into a forlorn and failing cause— Cyril Robinson

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Analogous words: grieving, mourning, sorrowing (see GRIEVE): depressed, dejected, melancholy, sad (see corresponding nouns at SADNESS)
Antonyms: lighthearted
Contrasted words: cheerful, joyful, joyous, happy, *glad: buoyant, volatile, resilient, *elastic

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Despondent — De*spond ent, a. [L. despondens, entis, p. pr. of despond[=e]re.] Marked by despondence; given to despondence; low spirited; as, a despondent manner; a despondent prisoner. {De*spond ent*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • despondent — I adjective aggrieved, beaten, defeated, defeatist, dejected, depressed, desolate, despairing, disconsolate, dismal, dispirited, dolorous, downcast, dreary, gloomy, hopeless, in despair, inconsolable, joyless, listless, lugubrious, melancholic,… …   Law dictionary

  • despondent — 1690s, from L. despondentem (nom. despondens), prp. of despondere (see DESPONDENCE (Cf. despondence)). Related: Despondently (1670s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • despondent — [adj] depressed all torn up*, blue*, bummed out*, cast down, dejected, despairing, disconsolate, discouraged, disheartened, dispirited, doleful, down, downcast, downhearted, forlorn, gloomy, glum, griefstricken, grieving, hopeless, in a blue… …   New thesaurus

  • despondent — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ in low spirits from loss of hope or courage. DERIVATIVES despondency noun despondently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin despondere give up, abandon …   English terms dictionary

  • despondent — [di spän′dənt] adj. [L despondens, prp. of despondere: see DESPOND] filled with despondency; dejected SYN. HOPELESS despondently adv …   English World dictionary

  • despondent — adjective Etymology: Latin despondent , despondens, present participle of despondēre Date: circa 1699 feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression < despondent about his health > • despondently adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • despondent — adj. VERBS ▪ be, feel ▪ Patients often feel despondent. ▪ become, get, grow ▪ His work was rejected again and again, and he grew more and more despondent …   Collocations dictionary

  • despondent — adj. despondent about, over * * * [dɪs pɒndənt] benevolent enlightened despondent over despot it. an absolute despondent about …   Combinatory dictionary

  • despondent — de|spon|dent [dıˈspɔndənt US dıˈspa:n ] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: despondere to give up, lose hope , from spondere to promise ] extremely unhappy and without hope ▪ Gill had been out of work for a year and was getting very despondent …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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