English

Definition of despair noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

despair

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//dɪˈspeə(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsper//
 
Unhappiness
 
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  • [uncountable] the feeling of having lost all hope She uttered a cry of despair. A deep sense of despair overwhelmed him. He gave up the struggle in despair. One harsh word would send her into the depths of despair. Eventually, driven to despair, he threw himself under a train. see also desperate See related entries: Unhappiness
  • Word Origin Middle English: the noun via Anglo-Norman French from Old French desespeir; the verb from Old French desperer, from Latin desperare, from de- ‘down from’ + sperare ‘to hope’.Extra examples He fell into despair over his failure as a husband. I felt despair at being deceived. I was overcome with a feeling of utter despair. Robert shook his head in despair. She let out a cry of despair. The novel tells the story of a teenager driven to despair by the hypocrisy of the adult world. When he became ill he sank to the depths of despair. his despair over the loss of his wife A sense of despair overwhelmed him. Eventually, driven to despair, he threw himself under a train. He gave up the struggle in despair. One harsh word would send her into the depths of despair. She was close to despair.Idioms
    be the despair of somebody
     
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    to make somebody worried or unhappy, because they cannot help My handwriting was the despair of my teachers.
    (formal) advice not to try to do something because it is too difficult
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: despair

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