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[hohp-fuh l] /ˈhoʊp fəl/
full of hope; expressing hope:
His hopeful words stimulated optimism.
exciting hope; promising advantage or success:
a hopeful prospect.
a person who shows promise or aspires to success:
the Democratic presidential hopeful.
Origin of hopeful
1560-70; hope + -ful
Related forms
hopefulness, noun
unhopeful, adjective
unhopefully, adverb
1. expectant; sanguine, optimistic, confident. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unhopeful
Historical Examples
  • "I will go and see," and I ran out again, still not unhopeful.

    Carette of Sark John Oxenham
  • It is true we have not yet done much in public-houses, but, as you saw just now, it is not an unhopeful field.

    Post Haste R.M. Ballantyne
  • When Mazzini arrived at Lyons, he found an unhopeful plan in preparation for raiding Savoy.

    The Life of Mazzini Bolton King
  • unhopeful of any turn for the better, they regarded every change as capable only of increasing their burden.

    Mother Maksim Gorky
  • Books she sought in every accessible, and found occasionally in an unhopeful quarter.

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
  • I was weary and unhopeful, and so, perhaps, trod more safely the somewhat devious and perplexing path that lay before me.

    Rutledge Miriam Coles Harris
  • “The name sounds sort of unhopeful,” ventured Mr. Gubb timidly.

  • It would be quite wrong, however, to regard Redmond's attitude in these days as unhopeful.

  • The very ocean sighing heaves In pity its unhopeful breast, Like some good friend that knows and grieves.

  • She told all this with the resigned and unhopeful manner of one who has always been accustomed to suffer.

British Dictionary definitions for unhopeful


having or expressing hope
giving or inspiring hope; promising
a person considered to be on the brink of success (esp in the phrase a young hopeful)
Derived Forms
hopefulness, noun
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 unhopeful



c.1200, from hope + -ful. As a noun, "one on whom hopes are set," from 1720. Related: Hopefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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