Definition of hope in English:



mass noun
  • 1A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

    ‘he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information’
    count noun ‘I had high hopes of making the Olympic team’
    • ‘The promising photography raises high hopes and more or less continues for the rest of the film.’
    • ‘Ministry of Defence officials dashed hopes of a local economic bonanza.’
    • ‘Holistic treatments may offer slender hope to patients, but they seem to prefer hopes to drugs and surgery.’
    • ‘We are asking Graham Thorpe, more in hope than expectation, to come back and make an impact first time out.’
    • ‘But many relatives of those trapped aboard the Kursk arrived with a defiant hope that their boys would be saved.’
    • ‘Everything you do in a garden is firmly based on hope and good expectations.’
    • ‘Last year hopes were raised that the historic Ambassador cinema could be saved.’
    • ‘A vital tube link could be stopped in its tracks because of one man's hopes to save a goodsyard.’
    • ‘Visitors are also asked to help fill in a memorial book with their thoughts and hopes.’
    • ‘Their hopes of a decent Christmas to help them through until next year now look to be dashed.’
    • ‘Like many men since time immemorial, he is living more in hope than expectation.’
    • ‘It is merely false hope to expect the current government to bring this man to justice.’
    • ‘But the Council has revealed its hopes to put in safety measures have been put back.’
    • ‘Four draws on the trot in the league have not helped their hopes for promotion.’
    • ‘Instead the two clubs can still dream of Cardiff, albeit in both cases more in hope than expectation.’
    • ‘However, the Minister's comments raises hopes of a supply of gas for the North West.’
    • ‘This time there was hope and expectation, and a certain symbolism.’
    • ‘How wrong they were, when their only son had gone missing as a baby and never been found, they had given up hope and believed him dead.’
    • ‘They now await their results in August and September in hope and expectation.’
    • ‘Pearce's view is aided by a hope fresh faces could soon be coming to Eastlands.’
    aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, plan, dream, daydream, pipe dream
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A person or thing that may help or save someone.
      ‘their only hope is surgery’
      • ‘The decision came as little surprise but washed away the last hopes of parents who have fought to save the popular schools.’
      • ‘Kella, my last hope in changing my friend's mind uttered her opinion and my heart sank.’
      • ‘Most familiar with the problem believe the only hope for a reversal in the trend is education.’
      • ‘This was one of the only hopes for this once majestic statue to be saved from the elements.’
      • ‘With the qualities of your head and heart booming, you are the best hope for your, friends and relations.’
      optimism, grounds for hope, promise, light at the end of the tunnel
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Grounds for believing that something good may happen.
      ‘he does see some hope for the future’
      • ‘She has no hope for the future and this caused me very great concern indeed.’
      • ‘Amid the rationing and the rubble of bombed buildings, there was hope for the future and television was part of it.’
      • ‘Ms. Nalak was silent for a few moments and Tyler began to believe that all hope was lost.’
      • ‘Their results were admittedly bad, but I believe there is still hope.’
      • ‘As the group made its impromptu stop outside an off-license, any hopes of an early night were optimistic.’
      • ‘A death toll that tops nearly one dozen in the first day of a military ceasefire offers little grounds for hope.’
      • ‘Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.’
      • ‘Grounds for hope remain in the fact that that she is still just 21 and has time to recover.’
      • ‘The crux of the matter is whether the future holds hope for people who prefer to stay at home instead of going abroad to earn a living.’
      • ‘No great surprises here either, but grounds for rational hope at the voting booth.’
      • ‘Edwina Currie was moved by the response to the gathering, and believes it offers hope for the future.’
      • ‘Even I was having a hard time believing it so what hope did that hold for anyone else?’
      • ‘Despite the loss of their status as equal leaders, Calderwood surely has grounds for hope.’
      • ‘The current lease runs out in a few years with, I believe, little hope of renewal.’
      • ‘Mariamma, however, has a ray of hope, which she believes, would brighten her life some day.’
      • ‘If we cannot find peace in the heavens, what hope on the ground?’
      • ‘The angel casts its shadow over the northeast as a reminder of its industrial past and a symbol of hope for the future.’
      • ‘Because of the kindness of strangers I am at least inclined to believe there is hope.’
      • ‘The incarnation is itself the renewal of our humanity, and the ground of our hope as well.’
      • ‘O'Dea believes there is hope for those looking for work in the technology sector.’
      hopefulness, optimism, expectation, expectancy
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  • 2archaic A feeling of trust.

    ‘our private friendship, upon hope and affiance whereof, I presume to be your petitioner’
    • ‘We can enter into the faithful stories of the past in order to embrace the present-with faith, hope and love.’
    • ‘Paul portrays the community of the new age as a community of faith, hope, and love.’
    • ‘Rather, Jesus is believed to be present in ways which allow him to be related to in faith, love, hope, joy, and obedience.’
    • ‘Jesus did not lose hope but trusted in God even when it appeared that he was in a hopeless situation.’


[no object]
  • 1Want something to happen or be the case.

    ‘he's hoping for an offer of compensation’
    with clause ‘I hope that the kids are OK’
    • ‘The committee hopes to see more people use this area along the Riverside Park for recreation.’
    • ‘I believe we should all hope for the day when we no longer need to make that choice.’
    • ‘The guild are running the quiz in aid of Laois Hospice and hopes for plenty of support.’
    • ‘I hope that when my kids are my age, they won't be in the situation I was.’
    • ‘Organiser are hoping for a bumper crowd for the highlight of the Sunday soccer season.’
    • ‘People come to our office hoping for help, for a gift that might transform their lives.’
    • ‘We were hoping for rain today, but it was dry, so we had to play a bit of rugby instead.’
    • ‘They will be hoping for an easy draw in the next round so they can get the show back on the road.’
    • ‘He added that in the long term his group was hoping for an effective relief road for the town centre.’
    • ‘His friends and acquaintances sent him lots of cards and birthday wishes and all hope he will enjoy many more years.’
    • ‘This is an issue that is going to have to be dealt with, one hopes sooner rather than later.’
    • ‘All his friends and family hope to see him out and about again really soon.’
    • ‘We fast and pray and hope, and we believe it's in the Lord's hands, and we trust in him.’
    • ‘Immediately after her birth the mother rejected the child as she was hoping for a baby boy.’
    • ‘The greedy geese drove off the ducks and chased after pensioners, hoping for a feed.’
    • ‘We were hoping for a treat as we headed over to the restaurant one Thursday evening.’
    • ‘He was hoping for a fresh start when we moved from Trowbridge to Holt two years ago.’
    • ‘We didn't understand very much but we were hoping for a new life and a new country.’
    • ‘I believe, and hope, that this title race will go right down to the wire.’
    • ‘He will also be hoping for more support if he is successful in his bid for Livingston.’
    expect, anticipate, look for, wait for, be hopeful of, pin one's hopes on, want
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with infinitive Intend if possible to do something.
      ‘we're hoping to address all these issues’
      • ‘We have provided the Court with a schedule setting out the areas that we hope to address.’
      • ‘Friends say the couple hope to spend Christmas with her mother in Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘Mark is recovering well and hopes to meet the man who saved his life one day.’
      • ‘Whitehead hopes to learn more about the meteorite when he goes to the crater's site next summer.’
      • ‘It is hoped to spread the scheme to the rest of the borough when funds become available.’
      • ‘Dr Bhavin Bhatt hopes to establish the surgery alongside his private practice in Reeves Way.’
      • ‘Plans have been drawn up and it is hoped to commence work in this area in the new year.’
      • ‘He was given a medical discharge but, since having surgery, hopes to reapply for his dream job.’
      • ‘We hope to plan further outings during the summer months so watch these notes for further details.’
      • ‘This week, the German finance ministry hopes to close the village's tax loophole.’
      • ‘The defence hopes to overturn the ruling barring any inquiry into the legality of the war.’
      • ‘The centre hopes to give assistance in an area where legal aid solicitors are hard to find.’
      • ‘This year the government hopes to bring them together under a new Fire Safety Reform Act.’
      • ‘The 2003 World Cup is my major aim and I have a plan that I hope to stick to.’
      • ‘He hopes to be as accessible as possible, and is planning a summer tour of villages in the constituency.’
      • ‘In later essays I hope to address some questions that arise because of this piece.’
      • ‘It is hoped to have the display open to the public for a few days during the week of the event.’
      • ‘The prime minister hopes to win back majority support from within his own party in coming months.’
      • ‘A senior engineer said the council hopes to complete the investigation within a month.’
      • ‘He met children and parents in some of the poorest areas of the country and one day hopes to take his own daughters back to visit the region.’
      aim, intend, be looking, have every intention, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire
      View synonyms


  • hope against hope

    • Cling to a mere possibility.

      ‘they were hoping against hope that he would find a way out’
      • ‘We waited around, hoping against hope that Brutus might show.’
      • ‘He is hoping against hope to be able to play, but if he is ruled out then the odds will have stacked up against a St. Mary's victory.’
      • ‘It was bound to happen, I guess, but I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't.’
      • ‘And yet I'm powerless to do anything about it other than sit here and watch, hoping against hope that it'll get better before it gets worse.’
      • ‘The driver, sweating even in this cold weather got down, hoping against hope that the worst had not occurred.’
      • ‘Then a few weeks later, the interested parties have to submit their secret bids, hoping against hope to out-bid the other potential buyers.’
      • ‘I am hoping against hope that she then let Edwin burn everything that was left over.’
      • ‘Michael Hardgrave knows all about what it is like to wait, hoping against hope that an organ will become available.’
      • ‘Hanging about hoping against hope that someone would turn on a light even when the reality is that that is highly unlikely.’
      • ‘For hours he refused to sanction retaliation: he still hoped against hope that what was happening was a mere ‘provocation’.’
  • hope for the best

    • Hope for a favourable outcome.

      ‘I'll just wait at home and hope for the best’
      • ‘But right now, people here are hoping for the best, but realize that much of the small island could be under water by the time Hurricane Charley passes by Florida.’
      • ‘We have been writing letters to local companies for sponsorship and just hoping for the best.’
      • ‘The project is not about chucking these recruits in at the deep end and hoping for the best.’
      • ‘While hoping for the best, we prepare for the worst.’
      • ‘You have got to pretend everything is okay for your family and keep hoping for the best.’
      • ‘If an airline were inclined to go lax on security, hoping for the best rather than working to guarantee it, its insurers would quickly step in to correct it.’
      • ‘We are urging farmers to ask for help rather than waiting and hoping for the best.’
      • ‘They talked with her father, Melvin, just moments ago, and he told me he is still hopeful though he admitted that with the search in the park today he is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.’
      • ‘I was fearing the worst, but I was hoping for the best.’
      • ‘The great majority of investors choose to be passive bystanders, hoping for the best and wringing their hands occasionally when they hear of another collapse.’
  • hope springs eternal (in the human breast)

    • proverb It is human nature always to find fresh cause for optimism.

      • ‘Reason told me the fair organizers would have called off the event, but hope springs eternal in a photographer's heart.’
      • ‘Yet the birth of a new year is not the time for despondency, for hope springs eternal in the human breast.’
      • ‘But hope springs eternal, so that's no surprise.’
      • ‘The Chinese say they won't, but hope springs eternal.’
      • ‘But hope springs eternal in the hearts of true St Johnstone fans - how can you win the First Division unless you are in it?’
      • ‘Nothing whatsoever has checked out so far in this sad saga, but hey - hope springs eternal.’
      • ‘The stadium was full because hope springs eternal, especially for the Welsh as their side contained a number of genuine young prospects for the future.’
      • ‘Anyone can get elected once; promises are easy to make and hope springs eternal in the hearts of the voters.’
      • ‘While there's no sign of a break in the impasse in the Middle East, hope springs eternal here for more intimate relations between Protestants and Catholics.’
      • ‘But if ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast’, perhaps we can continue to look to the future when a change of fortune will surely lead to success.’
  • in the hope of

    • With the expectation of and desire for.

      ‘they are carrying out surveillance of the area in the hope of catching the culprits’
      • ‘They have sweated and mastered all sorts of back-breaking and obscure sports in the hope of bringing home glory.’
      • ‘Police were hoping to interview him yesterday evening in the hope of getting extra information which could lead them to the offenders.’
      • ‘Although the tomb was shattered and empty, leaders of the team said they will dig on in the hope of finding jewelry, other artifacts, or even the biblical monarch's remains.’
      • ‘Hundreds of people who called in the hope of getting tickets for the big occasion have been automatically redirected to Ascot where ticket sales are being handled.’
      • ‘This latest discovery will allow scientists to build upon this framework of knowledge, in the hope of developing effective treatments in the future.’
      • ‘On my days off I would roam about on my bicycle, to peek about in the hopes of seeing Picasso, who lived nearby.’
      • ‘Later that morning he went to the agent's office in the hope of being able to sign an agreement.’
  • not a hope (in hell)

    • informal No chance at all.

      ‘he hasn't got a hope in hell of winning next year’
      • ‘Apparently the lads have been practising in my absence and now think they are pretty handy - good luck boys, not a hope.’
      • ‘Almost crushed by the label of the tour's greatest choker, she has been written off by her critics and supporters alike -a lovely woman but not a hope of winning an important title.’
  • some hope

    • informal Used to convey that there is very little chance that something will happen.

      ‘he predicted a new world order in which nations would learn to live happily with their neighbours. Some hope!’


Late Old English hopa (noun), hopian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoop (noun), hopen (verb), and German hoffen (verb).