• WordNet 3.6
    • n despondence feeling downcast and disheartened and hopeless
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Despondence Despondency. "The slough of despond .""The people, when once infected, lose their relish for happiness [and] saunter about with looks of despondence ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n despondence A despondent condition; despondency.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Despondence state of being without hope: dejection
    • ***


  • Titus Maccius Plautus
    “One does nothing who tries to console a despondent person with word. A friend is one who aids with deeds at a critical time when deeds are called for.”
  • Jeremy Collier
    Jeremy Collier
    “How many feasible projects have miscarried through despondency, and been strangled in their birth by a cowardly imagination.”
  • Baruch (Benedict de) Spinoza
    “The greatest pride, or the greatest despondency, is the greatest ignorance of one's self.”
  • George Eliot
    “There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire; it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “I cannot forgive a scholar his homeless despondency.”
  • Kin Hubbard
    “Nobody ever grew despondent looking for trouble.”


Slough of despond - If someone is very depressed or in despair, they're in a slough of despond.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. despondēre, to promise, to give up or devote to, to give up or resign, to lose courage, to despond—de, away, and spondēre, to promise.


In literature:

Mrs Fyne on her side gave way to despondency.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
Unaware of this good fortune before them, they seek rest with feelings of the utmost despondency, and find sleep only in short snatches.
"Gaspar the Gaucho" by Mayne Reid
All of a sudden I perceived my companion rouse himself from his despondent attitude and commence fumbling about over the floor.
"Ran Away to Sea" by Mayne Reid
His clothes, which were shabby, hung round him in desponding folds.
"General John Regan" by George A. Birmingham
He is utterly desponding.
"Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3)" by John Morley
But our gaiety was again succeeded by another period of despondency; we repeated all our antics, struggles and despair.
"Greener Than You Think" by Ward Moore
But, Dubbs, you are too desponding; we shall have you here yet for many pleasant days.
"St. Winifred's" by Frederic W. Farrar
Gertrude, what has been said about affairs that makes you all so desponding?
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
It was too late to attempt a retreat, and, in a state of desponding stupor, he stuck to the saddle.
"The Boy Slaves" by Mayne Reid
His spirits, hitherto buoyant and gladsome, now fell, and despondency and despair succeeded vivacity and hope.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord

In poetry:

And youths, strong limb'd, with frank, bold look,
That seem'd to pierce beyond
The future darkness, and rebuke
Aught wishing to despond.
"In Kirkconnel Old Churchyard" by Alexander Anderson
O Lord! who graciously wast mov'd
To give us Christ, thy best-belov'd,
To be for our transgressions slain,
And souls desponding to sustain!
"A Prayer To Be Said Before Receiving Of The Sacrament" by Rees Prichard
XII. Oh, what a lay the minstrel breath'd!
How many bleeding hearts around,
In suff'ring sympathy enwreath'd,
Hung desponding o'er the sound!
"The Irish Harp" by Sydney Owenson
Lovingly then the Person smiled,
Gazing upon the face of the child;
Smiled like an ogress - 'Don't despond! -
I am of children all too fond.'
"Mother Doorstep" by Victor James Daley
Here, at a meagre earth, despondent
And listless stare the dull grey skies,
And, as if plunged in leaden slumber,
A eary nature moveless lies.
"Here, At A Meagre Earth" by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev
And the despondent voices of the violins
Sing out beyond the hanging smoke:
"Give blessings to heaven above
At last you're alone with your beloved."
"In The Evening" by Anna Akhmatova

In news:

Von Brunn was growing despondent.
Stand off over- despondent man surrenders to St Louis police.
A despondent , armed man surrendered to police following a police standoff at Grand & Chouteau Monday morning.
As the Obama presidency and the Democratic Party continue their journey into the Slough of Despond, it's interesting to watch Obama' supporters try to process the unfolding events.
he said in a horribly despondent voice.
After watching the Dallas Cowboys drop another close game, the team's owner was despondent as he stood in the locker room.
Long Island broadcaster Michael Baldwin is despondent yesterday after the death of his son at their home.
In colder parts of the country, it is one of the only big plants to bloom during the low-light days when gardeners feel most despondent.
When Angela Austin-Knight's teenage son and daughter were placed in foster care in 2008, she was despondent and angry.
Their lovely children lightened the despondency I felt over the raging Iraq war.
One year ago Wednesday, despondent Army Pvt .
So why was Nick - the intern working on opening his own CrossFit gym in Goleta - so despondent.
List them all to a Washington football fan and the reactions will vary from remorse (Tim Hasselbeck) to shame (Jeff George) to despondence (Heath Shuler).
The options for despondent conservatives are somewhat limited at this juncture: They can pout.
Nevis responders inch out on thin ice to rescue despondent woman.

In science:

However, the cosmic string community is not despondent and there is renewed motivation to understand some very important points which may significantly alter the ‘standard’ picture of cosmic string formation and evolution .
Evolution of a Network of Cosmic String Loops