from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To become disheartened or discouraged.
  • n. Despondency: "The outward show of fight masked a spreading inner despond at the White House” ( Newsweek).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give up the will, courage, or spirit; to become dejected, lose heart.
  • n. Despondency.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Despondency.
  • intransitive v. To give up the will, courage, or spirit; to be thoroughly disheartened; to lose all courage; to become dispirited or depressed; to take an unhopeful view.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lose heart, resolution, or hope; be cast down; be depressed or dejected in mind.
  • Synonyms Despair, Despond. Despair implies a total loss of hope; despond does not. Despondency produces a disposition to relax or relinquish effort; despair generally stops all effort. See despair, n.
  • n. Despondency.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. lose confidence or hope; become dejected


Latin dēspondēre, to give up : dē-, de- + spondēre, to promise; see spend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin despondere ‘give up, abandon’, from de- + spondere ‘promise’. (Wiktionary)



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  • The name of the slough was Despond.
    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 19, 2009

  • The welcome news of the death of Julian, which a deserter revealed to the camp of Sapor, inspired the desponding monarch with a sudden confidence of victory.

    - Gibbon, Decline and Fall, XXIV. v.

    June 19, 2009

  • best used in the phrase "slough of despond."

    April 13, 2007