forlorn hope

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forlorn hope

n.
1. An arduous or nearly hopeless undertaking.
2. An advance guard of troops sent on a hazardous mission.

[By folk etymology from Dutch verloren hoop, advance guard : verloren, past participle of verliezen, to lose; see leu- in Indo-European roots + hoop, troop.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

forlorn hope

n
1. a hopeless or desperate enterprise
2. a faint hope
3. (Military) obsolete a group of soldiers assigned to an extremely dangerous duty
[C16 (in the obsolete sense): changed (by folk etymology) from Dutch verloren hoop lost troop, from verloren, past participle of verliezen to lose + hoop troop (literally: heap)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

forlorn′ hope′


n.
1. a perilous or desperate enterprise.
2. a vain hope.
3. Obs. a group of soldiers assigned to perform some unusually dangerous service.
[1530–40]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.forlorn hope - a hopeless or desperate enterprise
endeavor, endeavour, enterprise - a purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness); "he had doubts about the whole enterprise"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
By MICHAEL SCULLY Multiple deaths, treachery, despair mixed with folorn hope. In other words, the best fun Richmond Fontaine have had yet in the recording studio.
And you would have to be foolish to think that Freddie, Harmy (if confirmed fit after his side strain) Matthew Hoggard and James Anderson, who I think is definitely no folorn hope for top visitors' bowler at 9-1 given his VB Series exploits in the country on the last tour, will not be employing similar tactics to last year.