In Hopes of: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 5, 2023

When someone uses the term "in hopes of,"  they're expressing a desire or aspiration for a particular outcome. It's about looking forward to something with anticipation. This idiom gives voice to our ambitions and dreams and is a window into the human nature of hope and aspiration.

In short:

"In hopes of" conveys a person's wish or expectation for a specific result.

What Does "In Hopes of" Mean?

When someone uses the idiom "in hopes of, "they are expressing their wish or expectation for a specific outcome or result. It reflects an anticipation of a future event or situation.

Here's a deeper dive into its meaning:

  • The phrase indicates a strong desire for a particular outcome.
  • It's about anticipation and looking forward to something.
  • Can also reflect a person's goal or objective in doing a certain action.

It's an idiom that plays a role in expressions of ambition, aspiration, and general expectations in life. For instance, you might say, "I'm studying hard in hopes of getting a scholarship."

Where Does "In Hopes of" Come From?

The phrase "in hopes of" has been a part of the English language for quite some time. Its roots are somewhat elusive, but we can trace its use in literature and documents over the years.

Historical Usage

Tracing the lineage of "In hopes of" takes us back several centuries. The concept of "hope" has been integral to human emotion and literature, with ancient texts often referencing the anticipation of a desired outcome.

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul"

- Emily Dickinson

This poetic reflection by Emily Dickinson captures the essence of hope. Though she doesn't use the exact phrase "in hopes of," the sentiment aligns. Over time, the English language began to evolve, incorporating idioms that mirrored society's values and emotions. The progression from simply "hope" to "in hopes of" signifies a more active, anticipatory stance – not just feeling hope but acting with a specific desired outcome in mind.

"...and so they traveled forth in hopes of finding richer lands..."

- from an old English journal dated 1756.

With its adoption in literature, drama, and everyday conversations, it soon found a permanent place in the lexicon.

10 Examples of "In Hopes of" in Sentences

Understanding an idiom gets easier when we see it in action.

Here are some varied examples:

  • She went to the out-of-town seminar in hopes of gaining new skills.
  • Jack applied for the new job in hopes of earning a higher salary.
  • They bought a lottery ticket in hopes of winning big. What are the odds?
  • I sent her flowers in hopes of cheering her up. I'm really rooting for you.
  • We're hosting this event in hopes of raising awareness for the cause.
  • She practiced daily in hopes of perfecting her dance routine.
  • They started a diet in hopes of leading a healthier life.
  • He contacted the manager in hopes of getting a refund.
  • Of course not; she didn't quit her job. She took on extra shifts in hopes of getting a promotion.
  • Even if I didn't care about the outcome, I still participated in hopes of learning something new.

Examples of "In Hopes of" in Pop Culture

This idiom has found its way into pop culture, adding depth and context to many situations.

  • Shouldn’t Matter but It Does- A popular song by John Mayer where he sings about hoping for a better relationship in his song.
  • The movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" showcases the protagonist's journey in hopes of a better life.
  • In the series "Friends," Joey auditions for various roles, hoping to take a big break in his acting career.
  • The character Rocky trains hard in hopes of becoming a boxing champion in the movie "Rocky."
  • In the "Harry Potter" series, Harry Potter seeks the Horcruxes in hopes of defeating Voldemort.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say “In Hopes of"

Just as waves take various forms yet originate from the same sea, phrases in English often have multiple expressions that carry similar meanings. Let's delve into the myriad ways to express this age-old sentiment, broadening our linguistic horizons.

  • Aiming for
  • Aspiring to
  • Wishing for
  • With the aim of
  • With the intention of

With its rich undertones of aspiration and expectation, numerous synonyms echo its essence.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "In Hopes of":

  • What is the basic meaning of the term?

"In hopes of" generally means having an aspiration or desire for a specific outcome.

  • How old is the phrase?

It's difficult to pinpoint its exact origin, but we have records of its use as far back as the 18th century.

  • Is "in hopes of" used differently in various cultures?

While the basic meaning remains consistent, the context or situations it's used in might differ across cultures.

  • Can "in hopes of" be replaced with other terms?

Yes, there are synonyms like "aspiring to" or "wishing for" that can be used in certain contexts.

  • How often is the term used in daily conversations?

It's a fairly common phrase and is regularly used in both informal and formal conversations.

  • Is "in hopes of" considered formal or informal?

It's versatile and can be used in both formal and informal settings.

  • Is the phrase's meaning evolving over time?

Like many idioms, its core meaning remains the same, but the contexts it's applied to might change.

  • Can "in hopes of" be used sarcastically?

Yes, like many phrases, it can be used in a sarcastic tone, depending on the context.

  • Do all English-speaking countries use this term?

It's widely recognized, but the frequency of its use may vary across countries.

  • Does the phrase have any significant cultural references?

Not specific cultural references, but it's been used in various pieces of pop culture over the years.

Final Thoughts About "In Hopes of"

Language, in its essence, is a reflection of humanity's emotions, desires, and aspirations. The idiom "in hopes of" offers insight into the human nature of aspiration and anticipation. Whether in literature, pop culture, or our daily conversations, it remains a poignant expression of our desires and dreams.

Here's a quick round-up:

  • “In hopes of” encapsulates our innate desire to achieve, aspire, and dream.
  • The term has deep roots, tracing centuries, enriching literature and pop culture with its presence.
  • Synonyms include phrases like "aiming for, ""aspiring to," and "wishing for," each reflecting the same sentiment of hope.
  • The idiom has been used in various contexts, from literature to casual conversations, demonstrating its versatile nature.

In wrapping up, “in hopes of” is not just a set of words but a reflection of our collective optimism. And, of course, who wouldn't cherish a phrase that so beautifully captures the human spirit's eternally hopeful nature?

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