"desperate" in the noun sense
a person who is frightened and in need of help
"they prey on the hopes of the desperate"
"desperate" in the adjective sense
1. despairing, desperate
arising from or marked by despair or loss of hope
"a despairing view of the world situation"
"the last despairing plea of the condemned criminal"
"a desperate cry for help"
"helpless and desperate
2. desperate, do-or-die
"a do-or-die conflict"
of persons) dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or despair
"a desperate criminal"
"taken hostage of desperate men"
4. desperate, heroic
showing extreme courage especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort
"made a last desperate attempt to reach the climber"
"the desperate gallantry of our naval task forces marked the turning point in the Pacific war"- G.C.Marshall
"they took heroic measures to save his life"
showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire
"felt a desperate urge to confess"
"a desperate need for recognition"
6. desperate, dire
fraught with extreme danger nearly hopeless
"a desperate illness"
"on all fronts the Allies were in a desperate situation due to lack of materiel"- G.C.Marshall
"a dire emergency"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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