from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lack of hope; hopelessness; despair.
  • n. Vain hope; delusion.


  • The suspense began to diminish into "wanhope" or despair; and the brothers and sisters continued to say that they were sorry above all for Phyllis, whose gentle sweetness had made her one with them.

    Modern Broods

  • And she hath found me my love, thy brother Arthur, and delivered him from unwit and wanhope; and she it is who drew all you hither unto us, and who delivered you from the felons who had mastered you.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • I was just thinkling upon that, swees Mooksey, but, for all the rime on my raisins, if I connow make my submission, I can-nos give you up, the Gripes whimpered from nethermost of his wanhope.

    Finnegans Wake

  • And there be certain men in every town that serve of none other thing; and they clepe them cadeberiz, that is to say, the fools of wanhope.

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • So stood they there both awhile in wanhope sorrowing one with other.


  • At last, that his grief and wanhope might not rend his heart and slay him then and there, and lest all the deeds whereto he was fated should be spoiled and undone, self-pity fell upon him with the sweet remembrance of his love, and loosed the well of his tears, and he wept and wept, and might not be satiated of his mourning a long while.

    The Sundering Flood


The word 'wanhope' comes from Middle English, equivalent to 'wan-' (a prefix meaning 'lack') +‎ hope.