- (military) A small troop picked to make an advance attack, or the first attack; a storming party.
1880, Isaac Newton Arnold, Life of Benedict Arnold, page 82:
- Arnold, therefore, as usual with him, led the forlorn hope, marching about one hundred yards before the main body.
1885, George Bruce Malleson, The Decisive Battles of India, page 323:
- Lieutenant Templeton of the 76th offered to lead the forlorn hope.
- Any dangerous or hopeless venture.
small troop that makes an advanced attack
- (military) cannon fodder
- “Forlorn hope” in Michael Quinion, Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with Penguin Books, 2004, ISBN 978-1-58834-219-5.
- Memoirs of a situationist drummer: on language and its uses in Principia Dialectica, July 16th, 2009
- Debord, Guy (1967) The society of the spectacle, thesis 115
- Grassi, Giuseppe (1833) Dizionario militare italiano p.107