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Meaning of DESPERATE

Pronunciation:  'despurit

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a person who is frightened and in need of help; "they prey on the hopes of the desperate"
  2. [adj]  showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort; "made a last desperate attempt to reach the climber"; "the desperate gallantry of our naval task forces marked the turning point in the Pacific war"- G.C.Marshall; "they took heroic measures to save his life"
  3. [adj]  fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless; "a desperate illness"; "on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall; "a dire emergency"
  4. [adj]  showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire; "felt a desperate urge to confess"; "a desperate need for recognition"
  5. [adj]  arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope; "a despairing view of the world situation"; "the last despairing plea of the condemned criminal"; "a desperate cry for help"; "helpless and desperate--as if at the end of his tether"; "her desperate screams"
  6. [adj]  desperately determined; "do-or-die revolutionaries"; "a do-or-die conflict"
  7. [adj]  (of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair; "a desperate criminal"; "taken hostage of desperate men"

DESPERATE is a 9 letter word that starts with D.


 Synonyms: brave, courageous, critical, dangerous, despairing, dire, do-or-die(a), fearless, heroic, hopeless, imperative, resolute, unsafe
 See Also: goner, unfortunate, unfortunate person



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Des"per*ate\, a. [L. desperatus, p. p. of desperare.
    See {Despair}, and cf. {Desperado}.]
    1. Without hope; given to despair; hopeless. [Obs.]
             I am desperate of obtaining her.      --Shak.
    2. Beyond hope; causing despair; extremely perilous;
       irretrievable; past cure, or, at least, extremely
       dangerous; as, a desperate disease; desperate fortune.
    3. Proceeding from, or suggested by, despair; without regard
       to danger or safety; reckless; furious; as, a desperate
       effort. ``Desperate expedients.'' --Macaulay.
    4. Extreme, in a bad sense; outrageous; -- used to mark the
       extreme predominance of a bad quality.
             A desperate offendress against nature. --Shak.
             The most desperate of reprobates.     --Macaulay.
    Syn: Hopeless; despairing; desponding; rash; headlong;
         precipitate; irretrievable; irrecoverable; forlorn; mad;
         furious; frantic.
  2. \Des"per*ate\, n.
    One desperate or hopeless. [Obs.]
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: accident-prone, aching for, acute, affording no hope, amok, apathetic, atrocious, bacchic, baffled, balked, berserk, bleak, breakneck, careless, cheerless, climacteric, comfortless, compelling, concentrated, corybantic, craving, critical, crucial, crying, dangerous, desirous of, despairing, despondent, desponding, devil-may-care, Dionysiac, dire, disconsolate, dismal, exquisite, fierce, foiled, foolhardy, forlorn, frantic, frenetic, frenzied, frustrated, furious, grave, great, grim, hard pressed, hard up, harum-scarum, hasty, hazardous, headlong, heinous, hopeless, hotheaded, hurried, impetuous, in despair, in desperate straits, in extremis, in extremities, like one possessed, mad, madding, maenadic, maniac, maniacal, monstrous, overeager, overenthusiastic, overzealous, panic-stricken, perilous, pinched, precarious, precipitant, precipitate, precipitous, pressing, rabid, raging, ranting, rash, raving, raving mad, reckless, running wild, scandalous, serious, shocking, slap-bang, slapdash, sorely pressed, stark-raving mad, straitened, tenuous, terrible, thwarted, uncontrollable, unhopeful, up against it, urgent, vehement, venturesome, vicious, violent, wanton, wild, without hope, wretched