Synonyms of desperate in English:


See US English definition of desperate

See UK English definition of desperate

See Spanish definition of desesperado


1‘he gave me a desperate look’

despairing, hopeless
anguished, distressed, in despair, suicidal
miserable, wretched, desolate
forlorn, disheartened, discouraged, demoralized, devastated, downcast, resigned, defeatist, pessimistic
distraught, fraught, overcome, out of one's mind, at one's wits' end, beside oneself, at the end of one's tether
literary dolorous

cheerful, composed

2‘a desperate attempt to escape’

last-ditch, last-chance, last-resort, last-minute, last-gasp, eleventh-hour, all-out, do-or-die, final
frantic, frenzied, wild, straining
futile, hopeless, doomed, lost

3‘his finances were in a desperate state’

grave, serious, dangerous, risky, perilous, hazardous, precarious, critical, acute
dire, very bad, calamitous, appalling, awful, terrible, frightful, dreadful, outrageous, intolerable, deplorable, lamentable, sorry, poor
hopeless, irretrievable
informal lousy, chronic
archaic, humorous parlous

4‘the church is in desperate need of repair’

urgent, pressing, compelling, crying
acute, critical, crucial, vital, drastic, serious, grave, dire, extreme, great
formal exigent

5‘they were desperate for food’

in great need of, urgently requiring, craving, in want of, lacking, wanting
eager, aching, longing, yearning, hungry, thirsty, thirsting, itching, crying out, desirous
informal dying

6‘armed bands of desperate men’

violent, dangerous, lawless
reckless, rash, hasty, impetuous, foolhardy, incautious
death-or-glory, do-or-die, hazardous, risky