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1. Having lost all hope; despairing.
2. Marked by, arising from, or showing despair: the desperate look of hunger; a desperate cry for help.
3. Reckless or violent because of despair: a desperate criminal.
4. Undertaken out of extreme urgency or as a last resort: a desperate attempt to save the family business.
5. Nearly hopeless; critical: a desperate illness; a desperate situation.
6. Suffering or driven by great need or distress: desperate for recognition.
7. Extremely intense: felt a desperate urge to tell the truth.

[Middle English desperat, from Latin dēspērātus, past participle of dēspērāre, to despair; see despair.]

des′per·ate·ly adv.
des′per·ate·ness n.
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References in classic literature ?
Joan was keenly aware of the desperateness of the situation.
They had been selected blindly by nature, in a cruel and ignoble environment, where the prize of living was to be gained, in the main, by the cunning of cowardice, and, on occasion, by desperateness of defence when in a corner.
In the moment of that thought the desperateness of his situation dawned upon him.
And live to the end he did, smiling through all desperateness and extremity.
He underlined that the US tendency to cooperate with Iran on the regional issues is the result of Washington's desperateness in resolving the problems that it has created in the region.
The desperateness of their exchange suggests their anxieties about their social positions.
He will make a speech to those present that will outline the desperateness of the situation in Lebanon -- where more than one in five people are now Syrian refugees -- and push for alternatives, including increased resettlement outside of Syria's neighbors and the creation of safe zones within Syria itself.
LAHORE -- PML-Q leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ch Pervez Elahi has termed PML- N as victim of despair, frustration and desperateness.
Sometimes the balance is on a thin line between the desperateness to win and to protect himself.