Desperate vs. Disparate—Quick Summary
Desperate is an adjective that means “having little to no hope” or “having a serious or urgent need.” Disparate, on the other hand, is an adjective that means “fundamentally different.”
- My cat was in desperate need of attention.
- Both candidates presented disparate proposals.
What’s the Difference Between “Desperate” and “Disparate”?
Desperate and disparate are not technically homophones, but they sound similar enough to cause confusion among English speakers and learners alike.
Are you desperate to learn the difference? Let’s dive in!
“Desperate” Definition and Examples
Desperate is an adjective. Compared to disparate, it has a wider range of meanings. It’s often used to describe something or someone as “having little to no hope” or “dangerous or reckless because of despair or urgency.”
We found ourselves in a desperate situation when the last flashlight broke.
Female brown bears can become desperate killers when their cubs are in danger.
Desperate can also be defined as “having a serious or urgent need” or “making an ultimate, final effort.”
Suzanne is desperate for a promotion.
Working during the holidays is her desperate attempt for consideration.
A few synonyms for desperate are:
“Disparate” Definition and Examples
Disparate is an adjective that means “different, dissimilar, or distinct in every way.” Two or more things that are defined as disparate mean they have very blatant distinctions.
During orientation, I came across a disparate group of students that ended up teaching me numerous new things about the school.
The theory of relativity and quantum physics are two disparate, incompatible theories that cannot coexist.
Familiarizing yourself with the noun disparity might help you remember the difference between desperate and disparate.
Disparity refers to “a noticeable lack of equality or similarity.”
There’s a clear disparity between the treatment of the varsity and junior varsity teams.
The spelling of disparate can also help you remember what it means because different, dissimilar, and distinct all begin with “di-.”
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