Partially translated (forlorn), partially borrowed (hoop (“pile, heap”)) from Dutch verloren hoop (literally “lost troop”). The Dutch word hoop in this expression, for which the sense “troop” is now obsolete, is a cognate of English heap.
- (military) A small troop picked to make an advance attack, or the first attack; a storming party.
- 1880, Isaac Newton Arnold, Life of Benedict Arnold, page 82:
- Arnold, therefore, as usual with him, led the forlorn hope, marching about one hundred yards before the main body.
- 1885, George Bruce Malleson, The Decisive Battles of India, page 323:
- Lieutenant Templeton of the 76th offered to lead the forlorn hope.
- Any dangerous or hopeless venture.
small troop that makes an advanced attack
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked: "hopeless venture"
- (military) cannon fodder
- “Forlorn hope” in Michael Quinion, Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with Penguin Books, 2004, →ISBN.
- Memoirs of a situationist drummer: on language and its uses in Principia Dialectica, July 16th, 2009
- Debord, Guy (1967) The society of the spectacle, thesis 115
- Grassi, Giuseppe (1833) Dizionario militare italiano p.107