Definition of desperately in English:



  • 1In a way that shows despair.

    ‘he looked around desperately’
    • ‘He desperately tried to get control of the car but crashed into a lamppost.’
    • ‘He tells her that he is desperately unhappy and that his marriage is over.’
    • ‘Both the Metropolitan Police and his family are now desperately concerned for his safety.’
    • ‘Kane has been desperately attempting to track down Gavin, but has had absolutely no success.’
    • ‘She was desperately trying to maintain a family life and progress her career.’
    • ‘Rescue workers battled desperately to save a cow which had fallen into a stretch of the River.’
    • ‘It was full of people who, for two reasons, were desperately ill-equipped to come here.’
    • ‘We all feel desperately for a little girl who has lost both parents in such grim and public circumstances.’
    • ‘He was found trapped by a workmate who desperately tried to revive him before paramedics arrived.’
    • ‘Josh's fists were a blur as he tried desperately to defeat Kevin's iron defense.’
    • ‘Workers are now desperately searching for the female deer, who they believe is still at large.’
    • ‘Fran added that Mark had to go through so much in his desperately short life that his death was a release for him.’
    • ‘She stared so boldly and so forlornly and so desperately that her heart could have done her talking for her.’
    • ‘Back in the wheelhouse he was confronted by the huge ship and desperately tried to swing the wheel to head away.’
    • ‘The resulting chase took us all the way back to the car, panting desperately.’
    • ‘But, at the beginning of the week she was at her wits end desperately trying to save the club.’
    • ‘But she has not seen her son since and now she is desperately pleading for him to make contact.’
    • ‘When militias attacked her village the young mother ran desperately for her life.’
    • ‘They waved and banged on the window, trying desperately to get some reaction from us, or to throw us off.’
    • ‘I've been struggling on in multiple jumpers and shirts desperately trying to keep warm.’
    in desperation, in despair, despairingly, in anguish, in distress
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    1. 1.1 Used to emphasize the extreme degree of something.
      ‘he desperately needed a drink’
      as submodifier ‘I am desperately disappointed’
      • ‘Some thriller writers, he admits, do desperately want to be taken seriously, but not him.’
      • ‘Pretending he is a songwriting genius, however, is desperately wide of the mark.’
      • ‘He desperately needs to strengthen the side but has been told to cut costs.’
      • ‘We desperately need age, experience and character on the backbenches of our parliament.’
      • ‘The incident has left her extremely shaken and we desperately would like to catch this man.’
      • ‘Nothing has changed apart from now, if I need a player desperately, then we can do something.’
      • ‘The only option that comes to mind is a desperately unoriginal one - the dreaded book token.’
      • ‘The man, who has worked at the lake for five years, said the site desperately needs a clean-up.’
      • ‘Modern Britain desperately needs modern railways, run by professionals who care.’
      • ‘It was a desperately disappointing championship for the conglomerate of Scots.’
      • ‘I am desperately heartbroken for all the people involved in this terrible tragedy.’
      • ‘The Irish province have come desperately close in the past, competing in two of the last six finals.’
      • ‘I'll know where to come on a cold winter's night when I desperately need warming up.’
      • ‘There are lots of other facilities that could desperately do with the cash.’
      • ‘We desperately need more clinics for treating people and educating them about the dangers.’
      • ‘The critics had been savage and he desperately needed a change of scene.’
      • ‘Jodie desperately wants to be famous, but all she ever does is complain about how she's treated.’
      • ‘Within a week he was desperately poorly again, and this time did not recover.’
      • ‘We desperately need a similar increase in measures to deter the thieves, the robbers and the yobs.’
      • ‘It is desperately disappointing to win so much primary possession and then not to be able to hold on to it.’
      seriously, gravely, severely, critically, acutely, dangerously, perilously, hazardously, precariously
      urgently, pressingly, intensely, with urgency, eagerly
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