Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: desperer, from Latin desperare, from sperare 'to hope'

despair

2 verb
     
despair2 [intransitive] formal
to feel that there is no hope at all:
Despite his illness, Ron never despaired.
despair of (doing) something
He despaired of ever finding her.
despair of somebody
My teachers began to despair of me.

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