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From Latin dēspondeō (give up, abandon), from (from) +‎ spondeō (promise).


  • IPA(key): /dɪˈspɒnd/
    • (file)
  • (rare, noun usage) IPA(key): /ˈdɛspɒnd/
  • Hyphenation: de‧spond
  • Rhymes: -ɒnd


despond (third-person singular simple present desponds, present participle desponding, simple past and past participle desponded)

  1. To give up the will, courage, or spirit; to become dejected, lose heart.
    • 1867, John Conington, Aeneid, translation of original by Virgil, page 176:
      Yet still despond not, but proceed
      Along the path where fate may lead.
    • October 16, 1820, Thomas Scott, letter to the Rev. G. Knight, Harwell
      I should despair, or at least despond.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: [], London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], published 1706, OCLC 6963663:
      Others depress their own minds, [and] despond at the first difficulty.
    • June 17, 1825, Daniel Webster, Speech on the laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument
      We wish that [] desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hitherward, and be assured that foundations of our national power still stand strong.



despond (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Despondency.


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