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[dih-spond or especially for 2, des-pond] /dɪˈspɒnd or especially for 2, ˈdɛs pɒnd/
verb (used without object)
to be depressed by loss of hope, confidence, or courage.
Origin of despond
1670-80; < Latin dēspondēre to give up, lose heart, promise, equivalent to dē- de- + spondēre to promise
Related forms
desponder, noun
despondingly, adverb
undesponding, adjective
undespondingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for desponding
Historical Examples
  • Here I heard the sound of a cow-bell, which imparted a gleam of hope to my desponding mind.

  • “If I could do such and such a thing,” sighs the desponding youth.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Fear not, ye maids, who love to hear me speak; Let no desponding tears bedim your cheek!

    The Bon Gaultier Ballads William Edmonstoune Aytoun
  • In the darkest days he was able to cheer and encourage the desponding.

    Charles Carleton Coffin William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
  • Oswald, raised in a moment from the desponding invalid to a terrifying ministrant of retributive justice.

    Initials Only Anna Katharine Green
  • There is a desponding melancholy in the run of the last line!

  • The strength and spirits of the desponding adventurer were very essentially revived by this encouragement.

  • Since the death of that son she has been a desolate, desponding woman, always bewailing him.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • The desponding successor of the Gregorys and the Clements knew not where to look for aid in that crisis of peril and revolution.

  • His clothes, which were shabby, hung round him in desponding folds.

    General John Regan George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for desponding


verb (dɪˈspɒnd)
(intransitive) to lose heart or hope; become disheartened; despair
noun (ˈdɛspɒnd; dɪˈspɒnd)
(archaic) lack of hope; despondency
Derived Forms
despondingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēspondēre to promise, make over to, yield, lose heart, from de- + spondēre to promise
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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