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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. Without hope; given to despair; hopeless. I am desperate of obtaining her. (Shak)

2. Beyond hope; causing despair; extremely perilous; irretrievable; past cure, or, at least, extremely dangerous; as, a desperate disease; desperate fortune.

3. Proceeding from, or suggested by, despair; without regard to danger or safety; reckless; furious; as, a desperate effort. Desperate expedients.

4. Extreme, in a bad sense; outrageous; used to mark the extreme predominance of a bad quality. A desperate offendress against nature. (Shak) The most desperate of reprobates. (Macaulay)

Synonym: hopeless, despairing, desponding, rash, headlong, precipitate, irretrievable, irrecoverable, forlorn, mad, furious, frantic.

Origin: L. Desperatus, p. P. Of desperare. See despair, and cf. Desperado.