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Definition of the noun despair

What does despair mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: despairs

  1. a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    • examples: in the depths of despair | they were rescued from despair at the last minute
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonym of despair: desperation
    • more generic words: condition / status = a state at a particular time
  2. the feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well
    • examples: they moaned in despair and dismay | one harsh word would send her into the depths of despair
    • lexical domain: Feelings - nouns denoting feelings and emotions
    • antonym: hope
    • more generic word: feeling = the experiencing of affective and emotional states
    • more specific words:

Alternative definition of the noun despair


  1. Loss of hope; utter hopelessness; complete despondency.
  2. That which is despaired of.

Definition of the verb despair

What does despair mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: despaired | despairing | despairs

  1. abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart
    • examples: Don't despair--help is on the way! | Sam and Sue despair | Sam and Sue despair over the results of the experiment
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Cause] [Verb] by [Experiencer]The beauty of the Grand Canyon has been marveled over by countless tourists
      [Experiencer - being] [Verb]I will suffer
      [Experiencer - being] [Verb] of [Cause]I certainly approved of Mary's acquaitance

      Verbs of Psychological State (with the same syntax): approve, beware, disapprove, sicken, tire, weary.

    • lexical domain: Emotions - verbs of feeling
    • antonym: hope
    • more specific word: despond = lose confidence or hope

Alternative definition of the verb despair


  1. [transitive, obsolete] To give up as beyond hope or expectation; to despair of.
  2. [transitive, obsolete] To cause to despair.
  3. [intransitive, often with “of”] To be hopeless; to have no hope; to give up all hope or expectation.


  1. "Despair" is a 1978 film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Dirk Bogarde, based on the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. It was entered into the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.
  2. "Despair" is a 2010 short film written and directed by Alex Prager.
  3. "Despair" is a 2009 film directed by Stephen Sutcliffe.
    • released in (6 years ago)


  1. "Despair" is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov originally published as a serial in the politicized literary journal Sovremennye zapiski during 1934. It was then published as a book in 1936, and translated to English by the author in 1937. Most copies of the 1937 English edition were destroyed by German bombs during World War II; only a few copies remain. Nabokov published a second English translation in 1965; this is now the only English translation in print.
    • also known as "Despair (Penguin Modern Classics)", "Despair; a novel"; Otchayanie; Otchai͡a︡nie
    • language: Russian Language
    • author: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
    • released in (81 years ago)
  2. "Despair" is a written work by Fran Levstik.


Despair is one of the Endless, fictional characters from Neil Gaiman's comic book series, The Sandman.


  1. "Despair" is the tenth solo record by The Mars Volta Guitarist/Composer Omar Rodríguez-López released by Willie Anderson Recordings. Prior to beginning the studio sessions for The Bedlam in Goliath, Rodriguez-Lopez recorded Despair, inspired by his experiences in and around Jerusalem and using material culled from field recordings and studio experimentation. This record was pressed on white vinyl.
  2. "Despair" is a musical album of Valhom.
    • released on (8 years ago)
  3. "Despair" a.k.a. "Despair?" is a musical album of Come Gather Round Us.
    • released on
  4. "Despair" is a musical album of A Sickness unto Death.
    • released on
  5. "Despair" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  6. "Despair" is a composition.
  7. "Despair" is a musical single of Matias Bacoñsky.
  8. "Despair" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  9. "Despair" a.k.a. "Despair?" is a musical EP of Christian Wünsch.
    • released in (14 years ago)
  10. "Despair" is a musical album of Respect.
  11. "Despair" is a musical album of Winter Forest.


  1. Despair was a technical thrash metal band from Germany, featuring multi-instrumentalist Waldemar Sorychta and Century Media founder Robert Kampf.
  2. Despair is a musical group.

There are other groups with in their name, like Sea of Despair, Shape of Despair, Devise en Despair and Abysmal Growls of Despair.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Despair

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewGlossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary (2012)

Black Metal by Steven Shakespeare, Eugene Thacker, Aspasia Stephanou

Despair is the misrelation in the relation of a synthesis that relates itself...

Despair is a problem of existence— the problem of always being something; in effect, the problem of always being (it ...

Google previewPractical Grace (2013)

How to Find God in the Everyday by Robert K. Hudnut

Our despair is a gift redeeming us from self-reliance. It is a gift showing us...

Google previewBeyond the Matrix

Despair is the kind of threat the Architect brings—the threat that will dissolve into bottomless meaninglessness. We are...

Despair is a condition of sustained hopelessness where all the participants act to guarantee the worst-case scenario .

Google previewThe Reconciled Life (1997)

A Critical Theory of Counseling by R. Paul Olson

Despair is a state of profound sadness and utter hopelessness. One who is despairing is disconsolate — beyond consolation. Such people have "lost heart," perhaps even the will to live, and may wish to die. They are both despondent and ...

Google previewKierkegaard (2016)

A Single Life by Stephen Backhouse

Despair is a phenomenon particularly related to the action of the self relating to itself, but in such a way that it is a misrelation, hence a “sickness.” Despair (much like anxiety from the earlier book Concept of Anxiety to which this is ...

Google previewKierkegaard and the Rise of Modern Psychology (2017)

by Sven Hroar Klempe

Despair is related to the self. This also means that despair is a consequence of relationships, and this is revealed in a double sense .

Google previewMongolian-English Dictionary (2013)

by Ferdinand D Lessing

'LL To despair, lose hope, be unable to cope with. C®GENGKI / LIGQHX Q n. Minor part, minority. -- yndysyten.

Google previewThe Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations (2006)

by Hugh Rawson, Margaret Miner

Despair See also FAILURE. We should never despair. —George Washington, letter to Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, July 15, 1777 ☆ More at DETERMINATION, EFFORT, PERSISTENCE, & PERSEVERANCE. And that White Sustenance— ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis; or, Universal dictionary of Knowledge. [With] Supp (1816)

by Encyclopaedia Perthensis

DESPAIR, n.s. [desejpoir,Yr] 1. Hopelessness; despondence; loss of hope. — Despair is the thought of the nnattainablenel's of any good, which worksjdifferently in men's minds, sometimes producing uneasiness or pain, sometimes rest and ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Poetical Illustrations (1877)

Specially Selected with View to the Needs of the Pulpit and Platform by Robert Aitkin Bertram

DESPAIR. Cry of 'Tis time this heart should be unmoved Since others it has ceased to move ; Yet, though ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Despair

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Usage statistics about despair

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun despair:


Comparison of usage frequency between the noun despair and its most common antonym:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb despair and its most common antonym:


Photos about Despair

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Small photo of Close up portrait of Thoughtful, pensive and contemplating man thinking with shadow on face. Emotional and dramatic mood. Making hard decision. Despair, loneliness or insomnia concept.Small photo of Depressive teenager with the flag of the United States, despair conceptSmall photo of Sad man in burnt house. Loss and despair concept.Small photo of Hand of prisoner caught in prison. Expressions of frustration, despair and despair.Small photo of Frustrated african woman feeling despair panic shock sitting in shared office with laptop holding head in hands, upset stressed black employee or student tired of work, worried about online problemSmall photo of Beautiful face of crying and suffering young woman. Eyes with tears. Emotional pain,abuse, despair and fear conceptSmall photo of stressed woman, despair and depression More...

Video language resources about Despair

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See also the pronunciation examples of Despair!

Quotes about Despair

While happiness is the twin sibling of
despair, it is despair that is
the stronger of the two.

In life. happiness are but fleeting moments.
Despair lurks forever in the shadows
of our mind and our hearts...until the
final darkness.

(Joe Fazio)
more quotes about despair...

Scrabble value of D2E1S1P3A1I1R1

The value of this 7-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of DESPAIR

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