Etymology
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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.)).

updated on August 05, 2018

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Definitions of desperation from WordNet

desperation (n.)
a state in which all hope is lost or absent;
courage born of desperation
Synonyms: despair
desperation (n.)
desperate recklessness;
it was a policy of desperation
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.