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hope (v.)

Old English hopian "have the theological virtue of Hope; hope for (salvation, mercy), trust in (God's word)," also "to have trust, have confidence; assume confidently or trust" (that something is or will be so), a word of unknown origin. Not the usual Germanic term for this, but in use in North Sea Germanic languages (cognates: Old Frisian hopia, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch hopen; Middle High German hoffen "to hope," which is borrowed from Low German).

From early 13c. as "to wish for" (something), "desire." Related: Hoped; hoping. To hope against hope (1610s) "hold to hope in the absence of any justification for hope" echoes Romans iv.18:

Who against hope, beleeued in hope, that hee might become the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seede bee. [King James Version, 1611]

The Wycliffite Bible (c. 1384) has this as "Abraham agens hope bileuede that he schulde be maad fadir of manye folkis."

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hope (n.)
late Old English hopa "confidence in the future," especially "God or Christ as a basis for hope," from hope (v.). From c. 1200 as "expectation of something desired;" also "trust, confidence; wishful desire;" late 14c. as "thing hoped for," also "grounds or basis for hope." Personified since c. 1300. Related: Hopes.

Compare Old Frisian and Middle Dutch hope, Danish haab, Dutch hoop, all from their respective verbs. For forlorn hope, see forlorn.
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hoping (n.)
c. 1300, verbal noun from hope (v.).
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hopeless (adj.)
1560s, "offering no grounds for hope," from hope (n.) + -less. From 1580s as "having no expectation of success." Related: Hopelessly; hopelessness.
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hopeful (adj.)
c. 1200, "full of hope," from hope (n.) + -ful. From 1560s as "having qualities which excited hope." As a noun, "one on whom hopes are set," from 1720. Often ironic in colloquial use, of willful or incorrigible offspring. Related: Hopefulness.
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white hope (n.)

"person or thing that people hope will be very successful in the near future," 1911, originally in U.S. sporting use in reference to the quest for a white man capable of beating champion pugilist Jack Johnson.

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despair (v.)

"to lose hope, be without hope," mid-14c., despeiren, from Old French despeir-, stressed stem of desperer "be dismayed, lose hope, despair," from Latin desperare "to despair, to lose all hope," from de "without" (see de-) + sperare "to hope," from spes "hope" (from PIE root *spes- "prosperity;" see speed (n.)). Related: Despaired; despairing; despairingly.

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sperate (adj.)

of debts, "having some likelihood of recovery," 1550s, from Latin speratus, past participle of sperare "to hope," denominative of spes "hope," from PIE *spe-is-, from root spes- "prosperity" (see speed (n.)).

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desperation (n.)

late 14c., desperacioun, "hopelessness, lack or loss of hope" (especially in God's mercy), a sense now obsolete; c. 1400, "a desperate state of mind," from Old French désperacion or directly from Latin desperationem (nominative desperatio) "despair, hopelessness," noun of action from past-participle stem of desperare "to despair, to lose all hope," from de "without" (see de-) + sperare "to hope," from spes "hope" (from PIE root *spes- "prosperity;" see speed (n.)).

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ween (v.)
"be of the opinion, have the notion" (archaic), Old English wenan "to fancy, imagine, believe; expect, hope," from Proto-Germanic *wenjan "to hope" (source also of Old Saxon wanian, Old Norse væna, Old Frisian wena, Old High German wanen, German wähnen, Gothic wenjan "to expect, suppose, think"), from *woeniz "expectation," from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for." Archaic since 17c.
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