Words related to despondence


active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.

As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.

sponsor (n.)

1650s, from Late Latin sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in Latin "a surety, guarantee, bondsman," from sponsus, past participle of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly," from Proto-Italic *spondejo- "to pledge," literally "to libate many times," from PIE *spondeio- "to libate" (source also of Hittite ishpanti- "to bring a fluid sacrifice, pour;" Greek spendein "make a drink offering," spondē "libation, offering of wine;" compare spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931.

despondency (n.)

"despondent condition," 1650s; see despondence + abstract noun suffix -cy.

despondent (adj.)

"losing courage, falling into dejection," 1690s, from Latin despondentem (nominative despondens), present participle of despondere (see despondence). Related: Despondently (1670s).