From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhopelesshope‧less /ˈhəʊpləs $ ˈhoʊp-/ ●●○ S3 adjective 1 IMPOSSIBLEif something that you try to do is hopeless, there is no possibility of it being successful We tried to stop the flames from spreading, but we knew it was hopeless. Getting your work published often seems a hopeless task. I kept on struggling forward, even though I knew it was hopeless.2 BADa hopeless situation is so bad that there is no chance of success or improvement The situation is not as hopeless as it might seem. the millions who live in hopeless poverty3 especially British English informalBAD AT very bad SYN terrible I’m a hopeless cook.hopeless at (doing) something My brother was always pretty hopeless at ball games.hopeless with I’m hopeless with machinery. I’ve got a hopeless memory. The public transport system was absolutely hopeless.4 HOPEfeeling no hope I began to feel lonely and hopeless.5 used, often humorously, to say that someone’s bad behaviour cannot be changed Oh, James, you really are a hopeless case (=it seems impossible to change your behaviour)!hopeless romantic/materialist/drunk etc She was a hopeless romantic, always convinced that one day she would meet the man of her dreams. —hopelessness noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpushopeless• ""Please let me go to the party'' Ali begged her mother, but she knew it was hopeless.• The lawyers must have known their lawsuit was hopeless.• It is difficult to trace the exact moment at which he decided that the military situation was hopeless.• The firemen tried to stop the flames from spreading, but it was hopeless.• Doug was hopeless at waiting tables.• The first telephoned his employer saying that it was hopeless, because no one wore shoes!• "I do not believe that working to block the movement of cocaine into the US is a hopeless cause, " McCaffrey told the panel.• Many of us ignore government, assuming that we are too busy to waste our time on such a hopeless cause.• I had this hopeless feeling as I approached the hospital.• Although Helga's condition appeared hopeless, her husband refused to give up.• What had she thought, that their purpose led to another hopeless middle-class trap.• I pore over the hopeless, resigned faces, the emaciated bodies, the stick-like limbs.• Why hadn't she realized how hopeless she had become, how she had forgotten everything during those months of pregnancy?• A hopeless slave like the best of them.• Police now face the hopeless task of trying to find the bombers.• Remember, it's just when things look hopeless that you sometimes get a lucky break.• It's hopeless to try to persuade him while he's in this mood. Let's talk to him tomorrow.hopeless task• A few have become internationally known, but it often seems a hopeless task.• Then he turned and began the hopeless task of chasing his shoe as it flew back and to above his head.• Nevertheless, he set about the seemingly hopeless task of making a bankrupt Command a going concern.• It was a hopeless task to identify David among so many people.• It was a hopeless task, we were slowly sinking in the mire.hopeless at (doing) something• I was no good at rugby and hopeless at cricket.• Such horses are hopeless at dressage, because they always decide what we should do before we ask them.• Leonard should be hopeless at fighting, with no fancy tricks, but courageous all the same.• I've always been hopeless at riddles.• He made sure he was hopeless at wrapping bread and giving change.hopeless case• Doctors can now help people who were once considered hopeless cases.• If Lee didn't know if his Dad was his Dad or not, he must be a hopeless case.