Desperate means "having lost all hope." If you are desperate for food, it means you are starving, possibly about to die. If you are in a desperate situation, it means things are really, really bad.

Desperate, desparate, or despirate? The word desperate is misspelled often enough that it's the despair of English teachers. Both desperate and despair come from the same Latin verb as despair. Don't mix it up with disparate, a totally different word that means "distinctive, different, various."

Definitions of desperate

n a person who is frightened and in need of help

“they prey on the hopes of the desperate
goner, toast
a person in desperate straits; someone doomed
Type of:
unfortunate, unfortunate person
a person who suffers misfortune

adj showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire

“felt a desperate urge to confess”
“a desperate need for recognition”
requiring attention or action

adj arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope

“a desperate cry for help”
“helpless and desperate--as if at the end of his tether”
“her desperate screams”
without hope because there seems to be no possibility of comfort or success

adj fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless

“a desperate illness”
“"on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall”
being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency

adj (of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair

“a desperate criminal”
“taken hostage of desperate men”
dangerous, unsafe
involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm

adj desperately determined

firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination

adj showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort

“made a last desperate attempt to reach the climber”
“"the desperate gallantry of our naval task forces marked the turning point in the Pacific war"- G.C.Marshall”
brave, courageous
possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching

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