despair

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Related to despairing: despairingly, depressing

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

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

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

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

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

throw (one's) arms up in despair

1. To make a gesture physically indicating one's despair and disbelief (about something.) We threw our arms up in despair after they told us that our appointment had been rescheduled again for a third time. The computer crashed for the third time that day, and I threw my arms up in despair.
2. To express or indicate that one gives up or submits to futility or failure. (Not necessarily done by literally putting one's arms in the air.) The student threw his arms up in despair, claiming that the math problems were impossible to solve. Don't just throw your arms up in despair—keep trying.
See also: arm, despair, throw, up

throw (one's) hands up in despair

1. To make a gesture physically indicating one's despair and disbelief (about something.) We threw our hands up in despair after they told us that our appointment had been rescheduled again for a third time. The computer crashed for the third time that day, and I threw my hands up in despair.
2. To express or indicate that one gives up or submits to futility or failure. (Not necessarily done by literally putting one's hands in the air.) The student threw his hands up in despair, claiming that the math problems were impossible to solve. Don't just throw your hands up in despair—keep trying.
See also: despair, hand, throw, up

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

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

v.
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 ?
In a sense, the picture is an emblem of Ruskin's life and character: in the swirling waves, despairing limbs, light and paint there is already a sketch of the interconnected tissue of ideas and feelings about reality, society, art and nature which informed Ruskin throughout his life.
And what impressed me from beginning to end was the passionate and despairing tone.
Driven by the extraordinary difficulties of his private life he produced a theology that dramatized the most extreme religious experiences." Distinguishing between Luther's theology of grace and Calvin's "doctrine of discipline," Walzer observes that "nor was Calvin sympathetic to men tormented by the problem of salvation: the clear probability, he believed, was that they were not saved."(20) Was it one such Calvinist who, when sought by a despairing Bunyan for counsel, effectively damned him?
His work of the late 1940s is pessimistic and despairing. In Pa knae for livet (1948; "Kneeling to Life") and Den som har set september (1949; "The One who Experienced September") the poet rejects all political systems and ideologies.
Many analysts, despairing of reaching a usable understanding, have endeavored to substitute a "rule" for monetary policy to eliminate a need to analyze or to forecast economic developments.
Aside from the observation that he had to abandon keeping records of burials "in such difficult times," Ludolf's chronicle began with a general flight to Kassel on May 17, 1640, less than a year after the village sent its despairing message to the regent.(47) There is a small element of self-justification in the way that Ludolf described that flight, since he complains about how much work the situation forced on him; but he is also concerned to show that his parishioners had suffered greatly because of their flight.
Ohly is concerned with the origins and development of the motif of the "despairing" sinner versus the "holy" sinner.