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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
she felt despair
Definition hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
  • Don't give in to despair.
despair = a feeling of hopelessness
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • In a state of despair, she jumped from the burning window—escaping the flames only to plunge to her death.
  • despair = a feeling of hopelessness or distress
  • She rescued me from despair.
  • despair = hopelessness or distress
  • I was in deep despair when she introduced me to a better way to live.
  • despair = hopelessness
  • She was in a state of constant despair for the last year of her life.
  • despair = hopelessness
  • The old man, Uchendu, saw clearly that Okonkwo had yielded to despair and he was greatly troubled.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • despair = hopelessness
  • It was the bitter smell of despair. Even if he could somehow climb Big Thumb, he knew he wouldn't find water.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
  • despair = hopelessness
  • Despair settled like a stone in the pit of Meg's stomach.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • despair = distress
  • Grace's despair exploded in anger.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
  • despair = distress (at not knowing how to improve a bad situation)
  • And my emotions were similarly amplified: The highs were higher; the periods of despair were deeper and darker.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
despair = hopelessness

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
do not despair
Definition to lose hope
  • Don't despair. Next year will be better.
despair = lose hope
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Don't despair—help is on the way!
  • despair = lose hope
  • I never despaired and eventually I found a good job.
  • despaired = lost hope
  • She despaired that anyone would believe her.
  • despaired = lost hope
  • My child, do not despair.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • despair = give up hope
  • His father, Unoka, who was then an ailing man, had said to him during that terrible harvest month: "Do not despair."
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • despair = give up hope
  • But we need not despair.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • despair = give up hope
  • He remembered those weeks of timid indecision, during which he had looked and longed and despaired of ever having the courage to ask her.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • despaired = lost hope
  • "You mustn't despair!" cried Mr Wonka. "Nothing is impossible!"
    Roald Dahl  --  Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
  • despair = give up hope
  • But I fear ... he knows that Despair is a greater sin than any of the sins which provoke it.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
despair = giving up hope

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
she was the despair of the team
Definition something that causes hopelessness or great distress
  • Conditions that would have been the despair of most people, only served to motivate her.
despair = thing that causes hopelessness
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Her schizophrenia and refusal to take medication was the despair of her parents.
  • despair = thing that causes hopelessness
  • When he had gone half way he turned around and stared at the scene — his wife and Catherine scolding and consoling as they stumbled here and there among the crowded furniture with articles of aid, and the despairing figure on the couch, bleeding fluently, and trying to spread a copy of "Town Tattle." over the tapestry scenes of Versailles.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
despairing = causing distress and loss of hope

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
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