• WordNet 3.6
    • n despondency feeling downcast and disheartened and hopeless
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Despondency The state of desponding; loss of hope and cessation of effort; discouragement; depression or dejection of the mind. "The unhappy prince seemed, during some days, to be sunk in despondency ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n despondency A sinking or dejection of spirits from loss of hope or courage in affliction or difficulty; deep depression of spirit.
    • n despondency Synonyms Desperation, etc. (see despair), discouragement, melancholy, gloom.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Despondency 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:

Did he despond or have confidence?
"The Confidence-Man" by Herman Melville
She understood the deep despondency which had taken possession of Antoinette's mind.
"Which?" by Ernest Daudet
The skipper shook his head despondently.
"Sea Urchins" by W. W. Jacobs
Negative emotions, such as fear, despondency, or antagonism, cause contraction and tend to constrict the vital organs.
"How to Add Ten Years to your Life and to Double Its Satisfactions" by S. S. Curry
He would go further, and say that even despondency was out of place.
"Good Old Anna" by Marie Belloc Lowndes
In spite of Sir Donald's promise to devote time and money to vindicate her title, Alice felt despondent over the outlook.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
Naturally cheerful, he was subject to moods of despondency, and his temper was ardent in circumstances of provocation.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
But deep in his heart despondency reigned supreme.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
Despondency began again to seize our men, and then a spirit of insubordination manifested itself in cries of rage.
"Perils and Captivity" by Charlotte-Adélaïde [née Picard] Dard
As he walked home he felt very despondent.
"Chester Rand" by Horatio Alger, Jr

In poetry:

Because I hold it sinful to despond,
And will not let the bitterness of life
Blind me with burning tears, but look beyond
Its tumult and its strife;
"Courage" by Celia Laighton Thaxter
Now despond and mourn no more,
I welcome all I feared before;
Though weak I'm strong, though troubled blest,
For Christ's own pow'r shall on me rest.
"My Grace Is Sufficient For Thee" by John Newton
Lift up your eyes desponding freemen!
Fling to the winds your needless fears!
He who unfurl'd your beauteous banner,
Says it shall wave a thousand years!
"Song of a Thousand Years" by Henry Clay Work
He sigh'd, he wept, he hung his head,
On the cold ground, full sad, he laid him;
When Plutus, there by fortune led,
In this desponding plight survey'd him.
"Cupid and Plutus" by William Shenstone
"You will smash it," said the schoolmaster, sternly right,
"Mark my words and see!"
And he walked away, while the old man looked
At his treasure despondingly.
"A Tale Of Starvation" by Amy Lowell
"Nine envious moons matured her growing shame,
Erewhile to flaunt it in the face of day,
When scorn'd of Virtue, stigmatized by Fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
"Elegy XXVI. Describing the Sorrow of An Ingeneous Mind" by William Shenstone

In news:

A despondent , armed man surrendered to police following a police standoff at Grand & Chouteau Monday morning.
Kennedy Jr 's wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, was "depressed and despondent " shortly before she committed suicide, a source close to the former architect tells exclusively.
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.
When Rafael Furcal became despondent over his poor play late in the 2011 season and wanted to quit, Cardinals teammate Albert Pujols went to Furcal 's home and encouraged him to return.
"I'm slowly sinking into the slough of despond," wails Dallas Green on the third studio album from City and Colour, his alter ego when not fronting the much noisier Alexisonfire.
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.
Rolling Stones fans, if you're feeling slightly despondent given your apathy regarding the upcoming 2012 Presidental election, we think we've found another reason for you to be sprightly about early November.
"I'm slowly sinking into the slough of despond," wails Dallas Green on the third studio album from City and Colour , his alter ego when not fronting the much noisier Alexisonfire.
Health care is a morass, a quagmire, a slough of policy despond, but perhaps complexity science can help chart a path forward.
DeVonte Christopher's mother was despondent as she sat in the Seattle airport waiting for her flight early Sunday morning.
A 26-year-old man reportedly despondent since his ex-girlfriend found a new love interest was ordered held on $150,000 bail Friday on charges he threatened to kill her fiance and himself.
The story details White's attempt to raise a pig for slaughter, only to become despondent when the animal suddenly becomes ill before being properly fattened.
According to the New York State Police, Troopers responded to a call of a despondent person on Ecker Hollow Road.

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