Definition of desperate adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    desperate

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈdespərət//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdespərət//
     
     
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  1. 1  feeling or showing that you have little hope and are ready to do anything without worrying about danger to yourself or others The prisoners grew increasingly desperate. Stores are getting desperate after two years of poor sales. Somewhere out there was a desperate man, cold, hungry, hunted. I heard sounds of a desperate struggle in the next room.
  2. 2  [usually before noun] (of an action) giving little hope of success; tried when everything else has failed a desperate bid for freedom She clung to the edge in a desperate attempt to save herself. His increasing financial difficulties forced him to take desperate measures. Doctors were fighting a desperate battle to save the little girl's life.
  3. 3  [not usually before noun] needing or wanting something very much desperate (for something) He was so desperate for a job he would have done anything. (informal) I'm desperate for a cigarette. desperate (to do something) I was absolutely desperate to see her.
  4. 4  (of a situation) extremely serious or dangerous The children are in desperate need of love and attention. They face a desperate shortage of clean water.
  5. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘in despair’): from Latin desperatus ‘deprived of hope’, past participle of desperare, from de- ‘down from’ + sperare ‘to hope’.Extra examples I was starting to get desperate. She felt utterly desperate. The sudden loss of his money had made him desperate. Doctors were fighting a desperate battle to save the little girl’s life. He made a desperate bid for freedom. His increasing financial difficulties forced him to take desperate measures. I heard sounds of a desperate struggle.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: desperate

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