Forlorn hope


      • desperate or hopeless situation
        To describe a situation where there is little or no chance of success, often due to unfavorable circumstances or odds

      • last resort or final attempt
        To refer to a final, desperate effort to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle

      • brave or determined group
        To describe a group of individuals who are facing a difficult or dangerous task with courage and determination, despite the odds being against them

    Examples of Forlorn hope

    • Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the small group of rebels charged forth, acting as a forlorn hope for their cause.

      The phrase "forlorn hope" refers to a small group of soldiers sent ahead to a dangerous or seemingly lost cause, with the hope that they might achieve some success and pave the way for a successful outcome. In this example, the rebels are acting as a forlorn hope for their cause, putting themselves in harm's way in the hopes that their actions will lead to a larger victory.

    • The startup's founder, who had been working on the project for years, felt like a forlorn hope as she pitched her idea to the skeptical investors.

      In this example, the founder is using the idiom to convey the feeling of being the only one with faith in her idea, in the face of uncertainty and unbelief from others. She is acting as a forlorn hope, pushing forward despite the odds seemingly being against her.

    • The explorers, who had been venturing into the jungle for weeks without sight or sound of civilization, felt like a forlorn hope as they stumbled upon a jaguar stalking them in the underbrush.

      Here, the explorers are using the idiom to describe the feeling of being alone and vulnerable, in the face of danger and uncertainty. They are acting as a forlorn hope, persisting in their mission despite the apparent futility of their efforts.

    • The runner, who had fallen far behind the pack, felt like a forlorn hope as she pushed herself to the limit, determined to finish the race.

      In this example, the runner is using the idiom to convey the feeling of being behind and struggling, but still pushing forward with determination and hope. She is acting as a forlorn hope, endeavoring to succeed where others have failed.

    • Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the small band of soldiers continued to push forward, determined to complete their mission. This was a true forlorn hope, as they knew their chances of survival were slim.

      In this example, "forlorn hope" is being used as a noun to describe the group of soldiers who are attempting a seemingly impossible mission with very little chance of success. The phrase "forlorn hope" originated in medieval times and referred to a group of soldiers who were given a hopeless task, such as charging a heavily fortified enemy position, in the hope that they would draw out the enemy's forces and distract them from the main attack. Nowadays, the phrase is used more widely to describe any situation where someone or a group faces overwhelming odds or a difficult and hopeless task.

    • The team knew that their start-up company was a forlorn hope, but they were passionate about their idea and refused to give up. They continued to work hard, hoping that they could find a way to succeed against all the odds.

      In this example, "forlorn hope" is being used as a noun to describe a difficult and seemingly hopeless situation, in this case, the situation faced by a start-up company trying to succeed in a difficult and competitive marketplace. The phrase "forlorn hope" is used here to underscore the difficult circumstances that the team faces, as well as the courage and determination required to persevere in the face of such odds.

    • The politician's proposal was met with a forlorn hope from his opponents, who saw it as unrealistic and impractical. They dismissed it out of hand, believing that it had no chance of success.

      In this example, "forlorn hope" is being used as a noun to describe the response of the politician's opponents to his proposal. By describing their response as a "forlorn hope," the speaker is suggesting that the proposal is seen as hopeless or impractical by its opponents, who have dismissed it out of hand. The phrase is being used here to underscore the magnitude of the challenge that the proposal faces and the skepticism and opposition that it has generated.

    • As the football team trailed by three goals at half-time, their coach delivered a rousing speech that left his players filled with a forlorn hope for the second half. They knew that they had a daunting task ahead of them, but they were determined to give it their all.

      In this example, "forlorn hope" is being used as a noun to describe the mindset of the football team as they prepared to face an seemingly insurmountable deficit in the second half. By describing their mindset as a "forlorn hope," the speaker is suggesting that they are facing a difficult and seemingly impossible challenge, but they are determined to try anyway. The phrase is being used here to underscore the team's determination and resilience in the face of adversity, and the hope that they can still turn the game around.


    The idiom "forlorn hope" is often used to describe a situation or attempt that is considered desperate or hopeless. It can also refer to a final attempt or last resort in trying to achieve something. Additionally, it can describe a brave and determined group of individuals who are facing a challenging task.

    This idiom can be used in various contexts, such as in personal struggles, business ventures, or even in war. It conveys a sense of determination and perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances, but also acknowledges the slim chances of success. It is often used to express a sense of admiration or respect for those who continue to fight against the odds.

    Origin of "Forlorn hope"

    The origin of the idiom "forlorn hope" can be traced back to the 16th century, during the time of the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule. The phrase was originally used to refer to a group of soldiers who were sent on a seemingly impossible mission, often as a last resort. These soldiers were known as "verloren hoop" in Dutch, which translates to "lost hope" or "forlorn hope" in English.

    As time passed, the phrase evolved to also include a sense of bravery and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. It became associated with heroic acts and desperate attempts to achieve something against all odds. The term was also used in literature, particularly in war stories and adventures, further solidifying its meaning and usage.

    Today, the idiom "forlorn hope" is still commonly used to describe a difficult or desperate situation, or to pay tribute to those who are fighting against all odds. It serves as a reminder of the human spirit's resilience and determination, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.