desperate collocations and examples

 UK /ˈdesp(ə)rət/

Explore meanings in the Dictionary
1

extremely worried or extremely serious


Adverbs frequently used with desperate
absolutely, increasingly, pretty informal, quite, rather, reallyI think the situation’s pretty desperate – time’s running out for those trapped people fast.
Nouns frequently used with desperate
circumstances, desire, need, plight, poverty, shortage, situation, struggleThere is a desperate need for more science teachers.We need to highlight the continuing, desperate plight of the refugees.

Usage note

You can also say that someone or something is in desperate need of something: The whole area is in desperate need of regeneration.


Verbs frequently used with desperate
be, get, grow, look, soundBy this time the girl’s family was starting to get desperate.
2

having little hope of success; done because no other way is possible


Adverbs frequently used with desperate
absolutely, increasingly, pretty informal, quite, rather, reallyThis represents a rather desperate attempt to gain more popularity.
Nouns frequently used with desperate
attempt, bid, effort, measures, plea, search, struggleMillions fled their homes in a desperate search for food.
3

extremely worried or extremely serious


Adverbs frequently used with desperate
absolutely, increasingly, pretty informal, quite, rather, reallyI think the situation’s pretty desperate – time’s running out for those trapped people fast.
Nouns frequently used with desperate
circumstances, desire, need, plight, poverty, shortage, situation, struggleThere is a desperate need for more science teachers.We need to highlight the continuing, desperate plight of the refugees.

Usage note

You can also say that someone or something is in desperate need of something: The whole area is in desperate need of regeneration.


Verbs frequently used with desperate
be, get, grow, look, soundBy this time the girl’s family was starting to get desperate.
 
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