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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
  • GAEV. [In despair] My sister, my sister. ...
    Anton Chekhov  --  The Cherry Orchard
  • despair = distress (at not knowing how to improve a bad situation)
  • And I wish I had the power to tell them that the despair of their hearts was not to be final, and their night was not without hope.
    Ayn Rand  --  Anthem
  • despair = hopelessness
  • Alice repeated in despair, 'Oh, that'll never be done!'
    Lewis Carroll  --  Through the Looking-Glass
  • despair = hopelessness
  • And he began to see that there might be some sense in that last line about getting your heart's desire and getting despair along with it.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Magician's Nephew
  • despair = hopelessness
  • He was worried now — there was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy's letters.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
despair = hopelessness and distress

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
  • "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
  • In that knowledge, despair and die!
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • despair = give up hope
  • Marilla had almost begun to despair of ever fashioning this waif of the world into her model little girl of demure manners and prim deportment.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • despair = give up hope
  • 'Don't despair!' said Strider.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring
  • despair = give up hope
  • Now he thought she understood him, and feared; now he was sure she did not, and despaired.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
despaired = lost 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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