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by Sebald Beham, German c1540]]

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude.

When used in a religious context, hope carries a connotation of being aware of what Christians see as spiritual "truth"; see Hope (virtue). In Christian theology, hope is one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love[2]), which are spiritual gifts of God. In contrast to the above, it is not a physical emotion but a spiritual grace. Hope is distinct from positive thinking, which refers to a therapeutic or systematic process used in psychology for reversing pessimism. The term false hope refers to a hope based entirely around a fantasy or an extremely unlikely outcome.

In some religious contexts hope changes from being a verb to a noun. For instance, when Christians say they have hope in God they are not saying they hope God will give them good things and make their lives happier but that God is in fact, their hope.



Hope was personified in Greek mythology as Elpis. When Pandora opened Pandora's Box, she let out all the evils except one: hope. Apparently, the Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world's evils. But without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. It may be worthy to note that in the story, hope is represented as weakly leaving the box but is in effect far more potent than any of the major evils. In some faiths and religions of the world, hope plays a very important role. Hope can be passive in the sense of a wish, or active as a plan or idea, often against popular belief, with persistent, personal action to execute the plan or prove the idea. Consider a prisoner of war who never gives up hope for escape and, against the odds, plans and accomplishes this. By contrast, consider another prisoner who simply wishes or prays for freedom, but without genuine hope, or another who gives up all hope of freedom.

In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that "Zeus did not want man to throw his life away, no matter how much the other evils might torment him, but rather to go on letting himself be tormented anew. To that end, he gives man hope. In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man's torment." Emily Dickinson wrote in a poem that "'Hope' is the thing with feathers-- / That perches in the soul--." Ernst Bloch in "Principle of Hope" (1986) traces the human search for a wide range of utopias. Bloch locates utopian projects not only in the social and political realms of the well-known utopian theorists (Marx, Hegel, Lenin) but also in a multiplicity of technical, architectural, geographical utopias, and in multiple works of art (opera, literature, music, dance, film). For Bloch hope permeates everyday life and it is present in countless aspects of popular culture phenomenon such as jokes, fairy tales, fashion or images of death. In his view Hope remains in the present as an open setting of latency and tendencies.

Martin Seligman in his book Learned Optimism (1990) strongly criticizes the role of churches in the promotion of the idea that the individual has little chance or hope of affecting his or her life. He acknowledges that the social and cultural conditions, such as serfdom and the caste system weighed heavily against the freedom of individuals to change the social circumstances of their lives. Almost as if to avoid the criticism, in his book What You Can Change and What You Can't, he is careful to outline the extent that people can hold out hope for personal action to change some of the things that affect their lives. More recently, psychologist Anthony Scioli (2006) has developed an integrative theory of hope that consists of four elements: attachment, mastery, survival, and spirituality. This approach incorporates contributions from psychology, anthropology, philosophy and theology as well as classical and contemporary literature and the arts.[3]


1:Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

See also



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Hope



Most common English words: fact « known « thee « #316: hope » er » children » English


Etymology 1

Old English hopa.



countable and uncountable; plural hopes

hope (countable and uncountable; plural hopes)

  1. (uncountable) The belief or expectation that something wished for can or will happen.
    I still have some hope that I can get to work on time.
  2. (countable) The actual thing wished for
  3. (countable) A person or thing that is a source of hope
    We still have one hope left: my roommate might see the note I left on the table.
  4. (in Christianity) The virtuous desire for future good
    But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1Cor. 13:13)
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

From Middle English hopen, from Old English hopian.


to hope

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to hope (third-person singular simple present hopes, present participle hoping, simple past and past participle hoped)

  1. to want something to happen.
    I hope everyone likes this definition.
  2. to be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes
    I am still hoping that all will turn out well
  3. to expect and wish
Usage notes
Derived terms
See also




  1. The singular present subjunctive of hopen.




  1. waist
  2. hip (ringa hope)

West Frisian



hope n. (pl. hopen)

  1. hope

Simple English

Hope is a confidence in something wanted. It can also mean:



For people surnamed Hope, see Hope (surname)

First names

Famous people with Hope as a first name:

  • An old English girl's first name, now more popular in the USA
  • Hope (Xena), a villain from Xena
  • The Hope, a Clow Cards and villain from the series Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Hope Clarke, an American dancer
  • Hope Cooke, an American woman who became the Queen of Sikkim
  • Hope Davis, an American actress
  • Hope Lange, an American actress
  • Hope Sandoval, an American singer
  • Hope, an artificial construct created by Lex Luthor in Lex Luthor: Man of Steel

Place names

  • Hope College in Holland, Michigan
  • Hope, Derbyshire, England
  • Hope, Flintshire, Wales
  • Hope, British Columbia
  • Hope, New Zealand
  • Hope, Quebec
  • Hope, Rhode Island
  • United States:
    • Hope, Alaska
    • Hope, Arkansas
    • Hope, Illinois
    • Hope, Maine
    • Hope, Michigan
    • Hope, New Mexico
    • Hope, New York
    • Hope, North Dakota
  • See also: Hope Island


  • The Hope Diamond, a famous diamond.
  • HOPE-X, the HOPE shuttle program, or the "H-II Orbiting Plane"
  • Hackers On Planet Earth, a biennial conference series sponsored by hacker magazine 2600
  • HOPE Worldwide, a benevolent organization
  • The Hope Channel, a Christian television channel
  • Hope (Doctor Who), a novel based on the television show Doctor Who
  • Hope (ship), American merchant ship circa 1800
  • Hope (emotion), a belief in a positive outcome in circumstances in one's life


  • Hope (album), a progressive rock album by the Canadian band Klaatu
  • Hope (hip hop album), a hip hop album by underground rapper Sage Francis and producer Joe Beats
  • Hope, an album by Hillsong Music Australia (2003)
  • "Hope", a 1985 Descendents (band) song from the album Milo Goes to College
  • "Hope", a Cantonese theme song for Dae Jang Geum by Kelly Chen
  • "Hope", a song by Avail from their 1992 album Satiate
  • "Hope", a song by Shaggy (artist)
  • "Hope", a song by Fat Freddy's Drop
  • "Hope", a 1998 song by R.E.M. from their album Up
  • "Hope (Twista song)", a 2005 song featuring Twista and R&B singer Faith Evans
  • "Hope (Rush song)", a 2007 song by rock group Rush
  • "Hope (Toshiko Akiyoshi single)", a song by jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi
    • Also the title of a Toshiko Akiyoshi album, Hope (Toshiko Akiyoshi) (2005)
  • Hope (band), a Canadian punk rock band
  • Hatikvah, Hebrew for "The Hope", the national anthem of Israel
  • Hope Recordings, a record label


  • Hope (virtue)
  • Hope programming language, a small functional programming language

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