adjective Etymology: Latin desperatus, past participle of desperare Date: 15th century 1. a. having lost hope <
a desperate spirit crying for relief
b. giving no ground for hope <
the outlook was desperate
2. a. moved by despair <
victims made desperate by abuse
b. involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration <
made a desperate leap for the rope
3. suffering extreme need or anxiety <
desperate for money
4. involving extreme danger or possible disaster <
a desperate situation
5. of extreme intensity 6. shocking, outrageous Synonyms: see despondentdesperateness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Desperate — Des per*ate, a. [L. desperatus, p. p. of desperare. See {Despair}, and cf. {Desperado}.] 1. Without hope; given to despair; hopeless. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I am desperate of obtaining her. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Beyond hope; causing despair;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Desperate — may refer to: Despair (emotion), a feeling of hopelessness Desperate (film), a 1947 suspense film directed by Anthony Mann Desperate (Divinyls album) Desperate (Daphne Khoo album) Desperate (Daphne Khoo song) Desperate , a song by David Archuleta …   Wikipedia

  • desperate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) feeling, showing, or involving despair. 2) extremely bad or serious: a desperate shortage. 3) having a great need or desire for something: desperate for a cigarette. 4) violent or dangerous. ● desperate diseases must have desperate …   English terms dictionary

  • desperate — [des′pər it] adj. [ME desperat < L desperatus, pp. of desperare: see DESPAIR] 1. a) driven to or resulting from loss of hope; rash or violent because of despair [a desperate criminal] b) having a very great desire, need, etc. [desperate for… …   English World dictionary

  • desperate — [adj1] reckless, outrageous atrocious, audacious, bold, careless, dangerous, daring, death defying, determined, devilmay care, foolhardy, frantic, frenzied, furious, hasty, hazardous, headlong, headstrong, heinous, impetuous, incautious, madcap,… …   New thesaurus

  • Desperate — Des per*ate, n. One desperate or hopeless. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • desperate — index drastic, hot blooded, pessimistic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • desperate — early 15c., despairing, hopeless, from L. desperatus given up, despaired of, pp. of desperare (see DESPAIR (Cf. despair)). Sense of driven to recklessness is from late 15c.; weakened sense of having a great desire for is from 1950s. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • desperate — hopeless, despairing, *despondent, forlorn Analogous words: reckless, rash, foolhardy, venturesome (see AD VENTUROUS): *precipitate, headlong: thwarted, foiled, frustrated, outwitted, circumvented, baffled, balked (see FRUSTRATE) Contrasted words …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • desperate — des|per|ate W3 [ˈdespərıt] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: desperatus, past participle of desperare; DESPAIR2] 1.) willing to do anything to change a very bad situation, and not caring about danger ▪ I had no money left and was desperate.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • desperate — [[t]de̱spərət[/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) ADJ GRADED If you are desperate, you are in such a bad situation that you are willing to try anything to change it. Troops are needed to help get food into Kosovo where people are in desperate need... Desperate with… …   English dictionary

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