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desperate

[des-per-it, -prit] /ˈdɛs pər ɪt, -prɪt/
adjective
1.
reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency:
a desperate killer.
2.
having an urgent need, desire, etc.:
desperate for attention.
3.
leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous:
a desperate illness.
4.
extremely bad; intolerable or shocking:
clothes in desperate taste.
5.
extreme or excessive.
6.
making a final, ultimate effort; giving all:
a desperate attempt to save a life.
7.
actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
8.
having no hope; giving in to despair.
noun
9.
Obsolete. a desperado.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērāre to despair; see -ate1
Related forms
desperately, adverb
desperateness, noun
quasi-desperate, adjective
quasi-desperately, adverb
Can be confused
desperate, disparate.
Synonyms
1. rash, frantic. 3. grave. See hopeless. 8. forlorn, desolate.
Antonyms
1. careful. 3, 8. hopeful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for desperate
  • Pythons are invading the Everglades, and scientists are desperate to stop them from devastating the native animal population.
  • It's a beautiful image of a desperate and abandoned man.
  • It was the beginning of a desperate, round-the-clock attempt to save her life.
  • To protect them he resorts to desperate measures, sometimes betraying his own sense of right and wrong.
  • She is desperate to keep the action going, delay the moment of decision.
  • The three learn to help and trust one another in their desperate trek, eluding native war parties and foreign river-pirates.
  • The traffic problem was desperate a decade ago; now it is even worse.
  • The city believes that desperate times have called for desperate measures.
  • Women were screaming, men were shouting, that's desperate panic.
  • This message-heavy novel attempts to explore the desperate realities faced by a homeless family.
British Dictionary definitions for desperate

desperate

/ˈdɛspərɪt; -prɪt/
adjective
1.
careless of danger, as from despair; utterly reckless
2.
(of an act) reckless; risky
3.
used or undertaken in desperation or as a last resort: desperate measures
4.
critical; very grave: in desperate need
5.
often postpositive and foll by for. in distress and having a great need or desire
6.
moved by or showing despair or hopelessness; despairing
Derived Forms
desperately, adverb
desperateness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēspērāre to have no hope; see despair
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 desperate
adj.

early 15c., "despairing, hopeless," from Latin desperatus "given up, despaired of," past participle of desperare (see despair (v.)). Sense of "driven to recklessness" is from late 15c.; weakened sense of "having a great desire for" is from 1950s. Related: Desperately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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