intr.v. de·spaired, de·spair·ing, de·spairs
1. To lose all hope: despaired of reaching shore safely.
2. To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat.
1. Complete loss of hope.
2. One despaired of or causing despair: unmotivated students that are the despair of their teachers.
[Middle English despeiren, from Old French desperer, from Latin dēspērāre : dē-, de- + spērāre, to hope; see spē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. N., from Middle English despeir, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French desperer, to despair.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.