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in the depths of (something)

In the middle of and wholly consumed by a particularly negative and/or difficult situation or emotional state. The country was in the depths of the worst economic disaster of the last century. While I was in the depths of depression, I found that I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning.
See also: depth, of

despair of (something)

To view a situation as hopeless. Considering her dire diagnosis, I despaired of grandma ever regaining her health.
See also: despair, of

drive (one) to despair

To cause one to experience sadness, hopelessness, and/or frustration. I'm not surprised that his wife's death has driven him to despair—grief has that effect on people. Try not to let this rejection drive you to despair.
See also: despair, drive

throw up (one's) hands

To submit or give up. I'm ready to throw up my hands after trying to train this unruly puppy. Don't just throw up your hands—keep trying.
See also: hand, throw, up

throw up (one's) hands in despair

To indicate one's unwilling and despairing submission to or acceptance of something. We threw up our hands in despair after they told us that our appointment had been rescheduled again for a third time. All you can do is throw your arms up in despair at the way the government is being run these days.
See also: despair, hand, throw, up

a counsel of despair

An admission of defeat, hopelessness, or resignation to a particular negative outcome or situation. It saddens me to hear such a counsel of despair from our president about the situation regarding our healthcare system. Though obviously spruced up with media-friendly spin, the PR statement amounted to little more than a counsel of despair regarding the company's future outlooks.
See also: counsel, despair, of

fall into despair

To enter into a state of utter hopelessness, helplessness, and depression. I fell into despair when I was told I hadn't gotten the job. We can't fall into despair just because our sales figures weren't what we were hoping for—we've got to pick ourselves up and do what is necessary to get back on track!
See also: despair, fall

sink into despair

To enter into a state of utter hopelessness, helplessness, and depression. I sank into despair when I was told I hadn't gotten the job. We can't sink into despair just because our sales figures weren't what we were hoping for—we've got to pick ourselves up and do what is necessary to get back on track!
See also: despair, sink

despair of something

to give up all hope of something. Do not despair of his returning; I think we will see him again. I despair of ever seeing her again.
See also: despair, of

drive someone to despair

Fig. to depress someone; to frustrate someone. Sometimes raising an infant drives me to despair! The recent problems drove her to despair.
See also: despair, drive

sink into despair

to become depressed; to become completely discouraged. After facing the hopelessness of the future, Jean Paul sank into despair. Mary sank into despair upon learning of the death of her grandmother.
See also: despair, sink

a counsel of despair

an action to be taken when all else fails.
2003 Guardian This is not a counsel of despair. The argument in favour of the euro can be won, as Winning From Behind, a pamphlet published today by Britain in Europe, argues.
See also: counsel, despair, of

throw up your hands/arms in deˈspair, ˈhorror, etc.

(often humorous) show that you disagree strongly with something, or are very worried about something: When she said she wanted to get a motorbike, her parents threw up their hands in horror.
See also: arm, hand, throw, up

despair of

To lose all hope for something or someone: The shipwrecked sailors despaired of being rescued. I have seen so much unfairness that I despair of a just world.
See also: despair, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Sir Angus Deaton, Edinburgh-born professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey, said: "We in the US have no monopoly on the term deaths of despair.
Because delay can only have one result - more deaths, more pain, more misery and more despair as children lose parents, parents lose children and a nation losing hope there will ever be an end to the unfolding tragedy.
Well I refuse to despair. I think we will get out, at least enough not to be dragged into a United States of Europe, and not to be under the dominion of the unwieldy, ridiculously expensive bureaucratic institution that the EU has become.
A former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians not to be in despair but take concrete actions to protect and safeguard the nation's nascent democracy current under threat in the hands of the All Progressives Congress-led government.
Summary: UPA chairperson cautions about the reign of despair and fear heaped upon the country's poor
by Peter Renton, Lydiate Don't Despair DON'T despair of your tomorrow, It may not be a time of sorrow.
Catholic interludes often personify Conscience as activating the remorseful will to oppose despair through the anticipated joy of repentance.
But above all, Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Woolf 's The Waves dealt with despair and meaninglessness, although they were conveying a very different perspective.
Optimism Over Despair: On Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change gathers interviews with Noam Chomsky on war and politics: recent perspectives conducted for Truthout by C.J.
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, the Hope Committee of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum (TAGKF) commenced its activities with the aim of turning the communitys despair, fear and frustration to optimism at all levels.
By cause of death, the two biggest factors in the mortality reversal are the slowing down in mortality reductions from heart disease and the increase in "deaths of despair"--deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse and suicide.
On Monday, he wrote that he was "in despair at this catastrophe" that has befallen a party he's been in for 50 years.
Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California 1535-1846 is an anthology of primary sources of California's pre-Gold Rush history, from the first explorations of Baja California in the 1500's to the Mexican-American War of 1846.
Despair was the topic under discussion as my freshman English students were doing presentations on Elie Wiesel's memoir Night.
Do ' n't despair if you have nothing special for | Don't despair if you have nothing special for Mum today.