Learn 20 Expressions Related to Despair

Despair can be a profound and overwhelming feeling, often finding its way into our speech through various expressions and idioms. These phrases can help articulate the depth of despair one might feel in difficult situations. This blog post explores 20 expressions related to despair, offering brief explanations and concise examples to help you understand and perhaps even use them in your own conversations.

Expressions Related to Despair

1. At the end of one’s rope

Meaning: Having no more patience or energy left.

Example: After hours of negotiations, he was at the end of his rope.

2. Down in the dumps

Meaning: Feeling unhappy or depressed.

Example: She’s been down in the dumps since the move.

3. Losing heart

Meaning: Becoming discouraged.

Example: He’s losing heart in finding a new job.

4. A sinking feeling

Meaning: A sense of impending doom.

Example: She had a sinking feeling as she read the email.

5. At wit’s end

Meaning: Extremely confused and unsure how to proceed.

Example: The constant delays brought the team to their wit’s end.

6. To hit rock bottom

Meaning: Reach the lowest or worst point.

Example: After losing his job, he felt he had hit rock bottom.

7. Feel the walls closing in

Meaning: To feel trapped and claustrophobic.

Example: During the lockdown, many felt the walls closing in.

8. Drowning in despair

Meaning: Overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness.

Example: He was drowning in despair after the breakup.

9. In a dark place

Meaning: Experiencing a lot of emotional pain or despair.

Example: She’s been in a dark place since her father passed away.

10. Lost all hope

Meaning: No longer feeling any optimism about the future.

Example: After several failed attempts, he had lost all hope.

11. To see no light at the end of the tunnel

Meaning: To see no possible positive outcome.

Example: They felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

12. To throw in the towel

Meaning: To give up.

Example: Frustrated by the problems, he decided to throw in the towel.

13. Hanging by a thread

Meaning: Remaining intact or viable by only a slender margin.

Example: Their marriage was hanging by a thread.

14. A heavy heart

Meaning: A feeling of sadness.

Example: With a heavy heart, she returned home.

15. Cry one’s eyes out

Meaning: To cry a lot and very hard.

Example: She cried her eyes out after the news.

16. Down and out

Meaning: Lacking hope and resources.

Example: He felt down and out after his business failed.

17. Beating a dead horse

Meaning: Continuing futile efforts.

Example: Arguing about it now is just beating a dead horse.

18. Grasping at straws

Meaning: Making a desperate attempt with little hope.

Example: Searching for such rare parts was like grasping at straws.

19. Not a leg to stand on

Meaning: Without support or justification.

Example: After losing the evidence, they had not a leg to stand on.

20. Back against the wall

Meaning: In a difficult or desperate situation.

Example: With his back against the wall, he had to make a tough decision.

Expressions Related to Despair