All dictionaries I have checked seem to agree on the basic meanings of 'desperate', but here are two instances I can't fit properly into any of the categories:
Situation 1: kid needs to go to the bathroom; mother asks:
Are you desperate? Can't you wait till we get home?
Situation 2: someone has no place to stay; friend says:
You can stay here for a couple of days if you're desperate.
It's not like these people are
- 'feeling or showing that they have little hope and are ready to do anything without worrying about danger to themselves or others' (Oxford Learners)
- 'very sad and upset because of having little or no hope' (MW)
- 'very worried and angry because they do not know how to deal with an unpleasant situation' (Macmillan)
- 'willing to do anything to change a very bad situation, and not caring about danger' (Longman)
Also, they are not 'violent', 'rash' or 'dangerous'.
The seemingly obvious solution is that they are
- 'needing or wanting something very much' (Oxford Learners / Macmillan / Cambridge)
- 'having a very great desire, need, etc.' (Longman)
However, all of these dictionary exclusively offer examples that have 'desperate for' and 'desperate to' in them. Not a single one reflecting the usage of my two examples, with a free-standing 'desperate'.
Are these unorthodox usages I shouldn't make much of, or something the dictionaries failed to include (either as a separate meaning, or a distinct kind of usage)?