Etymology
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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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Definitions of hopeful
1
hopeful (adj.)
having or manifesting hope;
found a hopeful way of attacking the problem
a line of people hopeful of obtaining tickets
hopeful (adj.)
likely to turn out well in the future;
a hopeful new singer on Broadway
Synonyms: bright / promising
2
hopeful (n.)
an ambitious and aspiring young person;
two executive hopefuls joined the firm
Synonyms: aspirant / aspirer / wannabe / wannabee
From wordnet.princeton.edu