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- In dire need of something.
- I hadn't eaten in two days and was desperate for food.
- Being filled with, or in a state of despair; hopeless.
- c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- Since his exile she hath despised me most, / Forsworn my company and rail'd at me, / That I am desperate of obtaining her.
- I was so desperate at one point, I even went to see a loan shark.
- Without regard to danger or safety; reckless; furious.
- 1879, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “GOLDSMITH, Oliver”, in The Encyclopædia Britannica […] , Volume X, Ninth edition, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, page 761, column 2:
- In England his flute was not in request; there were no convents; and he was forced to have recourse to a series of desperate expedients.
- a desperate effort
- Beyond hope; causing despair; extremely perilous; irretrievable.
- a desperate disease; desperate fortune
- Extreme, in a bad sense; outrageous.
- c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- a desperate offendress against nature
- 1876, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “BUNYAN, John”, in The Encyclopædia Britannica […] , Volume IV, Ninth edition, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, page 526, column 2:
- The worst that can be laid to the charge of this poor youth, whom it has been the fashion to represent as the most desperate of reprobates, as a village Rochester, is, that he had a great liking for some diversions, quite harmless in themselves, but condemned by the rigid precisians among whom he lived, and for whose opinion he had a great respect.
- Extremely intense.
- (Can we add an example for this sense?)
desperate (plural desperates)
- A person in desperate circumstances or who is at the point of desperation, such as a down-and-outer, addict, etc.
filled with despair
having reckless abandon
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- desperate in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- desperate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette