Definition of hopeless in US English:



  • 1Feeling or causing despair about something.

    ‘Jessica looked at him in mute hopeless appeal’
    ‘his situation was obviously hopeless’
    • ‘We saw people jump out of windows in a desperate, but hopeless effort to escape.’
    • ‘As I began chiselling away at the mound in front of me I realized that this was pretty hopeless.’
    • ‘If your situation really looks hopeless and your debts leave you in despair, it's best to get professional help.’
    • ‘Depressed victims believe that all mistakes are their own and believe their future is hopeless.’
    • ‘It also means that the cause of reforming the Arab world is not as hopeless as it looks today.’
    • ‘In the light of the authorities to which I have already referred, that ground of appeal was clearly hopeless.’
    • ‘The situation seemed hopeless and desperation filled them both with anger.’
    • ‘They are now at the end of the visa-processing line, but their situation is far from hopeless.’
    • ‘That delicious uncertainty has been replaced by despairing, hopeless inevitability.’
    • ‘One of my more hopeless but doggedly-pursued ambitions is to collect every one of those words.’
    • ‘Yet he tries to find common factors which unite Indian cooking - perhaps a hopeless task.’
    • ‘It sometimes seems like a hopeless situation, but there still remains some optimism.’
    • ‘I feel hopeless now and I don't want my life ruined just because I have not enough cash.’
    • ‘We felt that the situation had been hopeless, but Bill Sullivan assured us that we had all done very well.’
    • ‘He said people felt helpless and hopeless over Garda services and many felt afraid to complain.’
    • ‘It seemed pretty hopeless and the Irish had very little sympathy or support from anyone else on the issue.’
    • ‘Out of work for months David faced not only a hopeless future but severe financial problems as well.’
    • ‘Finally, never leave the examination hall in despair, however hopeless things may seem.’
    • ‘He recalled the intense despair, the tears and that hopeless cry for forgiveness.’
    • ‘The direct reason was that she couldn't put up with the impoverishment and hopeless future.’
    despairing, without hope, in despair, desperate, dejected, downhearted, despondent, demoralized, disconsolate, downcast, wretched, woebegone, forlorn, negative, pessimistic, defeatist, resigned
    irremediable, beyond hope, lost, beyond remedy, beyond repair, beyond recovery, irreparable, irreversible, incorrigible, despaired of
    impossible, beyond hope, with no chance of success, useless, no-win, futile, unworkable, impracticable, forlorn, pointless, vain
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  • 2British Inadequate; incompetent.

    ‘I'm hopeless at names’
    • ‘When will governments learn they are hopeless at running businesses?’
    • ‘This complicates the process of selling them, as I am hopeless at keeping them in a safe place.’
    • ‘The UK is just hopeless at coming up with legal responses to extremist activities.’
    • ‘The staff were good on smiles and sartorial smartness, but fairly hopeless at actually doing what was required of them.’
    • ‘Donald was hopeless at gags and not very good at remembering jokes.’
    • ‘You may have to admit that even though you were good at doing your particular job, you were hopeless at running a company.’
    • ‘We blokes are not quite as hopeless at communicating as we're constantly told.’
    • ‘Even if you're hopeless at saving for your future, it's really easy to start saving small sums for your children.’
    • ‘Stefani says that she's hopeless at spelling and grammar, but that it doesn't matter.’
    • ‘The Act party really needs to ditch this hopeless excuse for a free-market advocate.’
    • ‘His mum's doing the best she can, but she's on her own, and her ex is hopeless.’
    • ‘My problem was that I was brilliant at English but hopeless at maths.’
    • ‘Speaking of hopeless losers, would you like to come to my party on Saturday?’
    • ‘Regrettably, until a few years ago, I was completely hopeless at money management.’
    • ‘She's managing to pay the rent on her one-room apartment, even if she is a hopeless slob.’
    • ‘Springfield is populated by solitary obsessives who are hopeless at coexisting with fellow citizens.’
    • ‘I have the type of shyness which means I'm hopeless at introducing myself to strangers.’
    • ‘I said feebly that my husband dealt with that sort of thing - I was hopeless at filling in forms.’
    • ‘I'm hopeless at talking about money, I give it away rather than deal with it.’
    • ‘I am hopeless at these things, but hopefully it will tax someone else.’
    very bad, very poor, awful, terrible, dreadful, appalling, frightful, atrocious, inferior, incompetent, inadequate, ineffective
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