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From espérer +‎ -ance (Middle French and Old French esperance), or possibly corresponding to Vulgar Latin spērantia, from Latin spērāns. Compare Italian speranza, Spanish esperanza, Catalan esperança.


  • IPA(key): /ɛʁɑ̃s/
  • (file)
  • Homophone: espérances
  • Hyphenation: es‧pé‧rance
  • Rhymes: -ɑ̃s


espérance f (plural espérances)

  1. hope
    Synonym: espoir
    Antonym: désespérance
    • 2021 January 22, Denise Bombardier, “Comment déradicaliser 40 millions d'Américains [How to deradicalize 40 million Americans]”, in Le Journal de Québec:
      Le président Biden est un homme de foi, donc d’espérance. Il fut beaucoup question de Dieu lors de la cérémonie au Capitole mercredi. C’est là une différence fondamentale entre les Américains et nous. Mais si l’espérance est une vertu chrétienne, l’espoir est un sentiment humain.
      President Biden is a man of faith, and therefore of hope. Much was made of God during the ceremony at the Capitol on Wednesday. Here lies a fundamental difference between the Americans and us. But if hope [in a cosmic sense] is a Christian virtue, hope [of a better tomorrow] is a human emotion.
  2. (probability theory) expected value

Usage notes[edit]

  • espérance has a more spiritual, religious, or cosmic connotation than its near-synonym espoir. See e.g. the quotation above.

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]