Definition of desperately in US English:

desperately

adverb

  • 1In a way that shows despair.

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

Pronunciation

desperately

/ˈdɛsp(ə)rətli//ˈdesp(ə)rətlē/