American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Having lost all hope; despairing.
- adj. Marked by, arising from, or showing despair: the desperate look of hunger; a desperate cry for help.
- adj. Reckless or violent because of despair: a desperate criminal.
- adj. Undertaken out of extreme urgency or as a last resort: a desperate attempt to save the family business.
- adj. Nearly hopeless; critical: a desperate illness; a desperate situation.
- adj. Suffering or driven by great need or distress: desperate for recognition.
- adj. Extremely intense: felt a desperate urge to tell the truth.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Having no hope; hopeless; despairing.
- Without care for safety; extremely rash; reckless from despair, passion, or ferocity: as, a desperate man.
- Done or resorted to without regard to consequences, or in the last extremity; showing despair or recklessness; extremely hazardous: as, a desperate undertaking; desperate remedies.
- Beyond hope of recovery; irretrievable; irremediable; hopeless: as, desperate fortunes; a desperate situation or condition.
- Such as to be despaired of; extremely difficult to do, manage, cure, or reclaim.
- Synonyms and Headlong, violent, mad, wild, furious, frantic.
- adj. Being filled with, or in a state of despair; hopeless.
- adj. Having reckless abandon in the pursuit of an extreme desire.
- adj. Extremely intense.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Without hope; given to despair; hopeless.
- adj. Beyond hope; causing despair; extremely perilous; irretrievable; past cure, or, at least, extremely dangerous
- adj. Proceeding from, or suggested by, despair; without regard to danger or safety; reckless; furious.
- adj. Extreme, in a bad sense; outrageous; -- used to mark the extreme predominance of a bad quality.
- n. obsolete One desperate or hopeless.
- adj. desperately determined
- n. a person who is frightened and in need of help
- adj. showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire
- adj. arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope
- adj. fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless
- adj. (of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair
- adj. showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort
- From Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērō ("to be without hope") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English desperat, from Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērāre, to despair; see despair. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Bafyau appealed to them to refuse to be recruited by what he called desperate politicians.”
“So I've been -- I've been happy to be able to, you know, to pick the project that I choose and not have to make what I call desperate career choices.”
“Opposition MPs have assailed Harper for what they called a desperate ploy to cling to power despite the fact that proroguing Parliament would preclude any major spending at a time of economic crisis.”
“In Iraq today, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is blaming what he calls desperate terrorists and Saddamists for a bloody attack at a Baghdad University.”
“(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: The mayor of New Orleans has issued what he calls a desperate S.O.S. appeal to try to help people stranded, stuck inside the New Orleans Convention Center as opposed to the Superdome.”
“That she gave new meaning to the word desperate, for another.”
“The doorman caught a glimpse of him engaged in what he described as a desperate fight with another man and ran to fetch the constables he'd just seen pass by.”
“Mr Swanepoel said it was clear that the ANC was attempting to discredit the NP in the eyes of the black community in what he termed a desperate attempt to hold on to their support.”
“But he also took a hard slap at what he termed "desperate" Republican rivals who have stepped up their attacks on his record in private business - a group that includes Perry, Gingrich and Huntsman.”
“Ferguson, in typically searingly honest form, also touched on the "crazy prices" paid by some clubs - no doubt including Manchester City - in what he dubbed their "desperate" search for silverware.”
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