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[des-puh-rey-shuh n] /ˌdɛs pəˈreɪ ʃən/
the state of being desperate or of having the recklessness of despair.
the act or fact of despairing; despair.
Origin of desperation
1325-75; Middle English desperacioun < Latin dēspērātiōn- (stem of dēspērātiō). See desperate, -ion
1. See despair. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for desperation
  • At the time, the request was considered an act of desperation.
  • The last thing you want to convey to search committees is desperation or rage.
  • But it went for bankruptcy protection now, he says, so it would not have to do it in total desperation when the money had run out.
  • These are desperate times, and desperate times call for desperation.
  • In her mind, the last thing geoengineering should be is an act of desperation.
  • Days three and four were juice-only days, and that's when the desperation set in.
  • desperation for foreign money has not made the regime any less dangerous.
  • As desperation for healthy organs grows around the world, so does an illicit trade in human parts.
  • Back then it was a sense of self importances, these times necessitate new thinking out of desperation.
  • The energy in the digital humanities sessions was the energy of utter desperation.
British Dictionary definitions for desperation


desperate recklessness
the act of despairing or the state of being desperate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desperation

mid-14c., from Middle French désperation or directly from Latin desperationem (nominative desperatio) "despair, hopelessness," noun of action from past participle stem of desperare "lose hope" (see despair (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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