\ \ [17] Latin had a phrase animam dēspondēre, literally ‘give up one’s soul’, hence ‘lose heart’. The verb dēspondēre came to be used on its own in this sense, and was borrowed thus by English. It was a compound verb, formed from the prefix - ‘away’ and spondērepromise’ (source of English sponsor, spontaneous, spouse, respond, and riposte), and originally meant ‘promise to give away’, hence ‘give up’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • despond — de*spond , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Desponded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Desponding}.] [L. despond[=e]re, desponsum, to promise away, promise in marriage, give up, to lose (courage); de + spond[=e]re to promise solemnly. See {Sponsor}.] To give up the will,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Despond — De*spond n. Despondency. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The slough of despond. Bunyan. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • despond — [di spänd′] vi. [L despondere, to lose courage, yield < de , from + spondere, to promise: see SPONSOR] to lose courage or hope; become disheartened; be depressed n. despondency: now chiefly in slough of despond (see SLOUGH2, n. 2) …   English World dictionary

  • despond — index brood, languish Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Despond — Également écrit Desponds, le nom est surtout porté dans le Loiret, où il est attesté depuis la fin du XVIe siècle (commune de Coullons). Malgré la présence d un d, le nom semble une variante de Despont, Desponts (celui qui habite un lieu dit les… …   Noms de famille

  • despond — 1. verb /dɪˈspɒnd/ To give up the will, courage, or spirit; to become dejected, lose heart. 2. noun /dɪˈspɒnd/ Despondency. Syn: despair See Also: Slough of Despond …   Wiktionary

  • despond — /dəˈspɒnd/ (say duh spond) –verb (i) 1. Obsolete to lose heart, courage, or hope. –noun 2. Archaic despondency: slough of despond. {Latin dēspondēre give up, yield, in the phrase dēspondēre (animus) to lose (heart) …  

  • despond — I. intransitive verb Etymology: Latin despondēre, from de + spondēre to promise solemnly more at spouse Date: 1655 to become despondent II. noun Date: 1678 despondency …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • despond — desponder, n. despondingly, adv. /di spond / or, esp. for 2, /des pond/, v.i. 1. to be depressed by loss of hope, confidence, or courage. n. 2. despondency. [1670 80; < L despondere to give up, lose heart, promise, equiv. to de DE + spondere to… …   Universalium

  • despond — Synonyms and related words: abandon hope, become suicidal, brood, despair, despair of, droop, falter, give up, give up hope, give way, hit rock bottom, languish, lose heart, lose hope, plumb the depths, reach the depths, sag, sink, sink into… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • despond — (Roget s Thesaurus II) I verb To lose all hope: despair, give up. See HOPE. II noun Utter lack of hope: despair, desperateness, desperation, despondence, despondency, hopelessness. See HOPE …   English dictionary for students

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