de·​jec·​tion | \ di-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce dejection (audio) , dē- \

Definition of dejection

: lowness of spirits

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Did You Know?

Based partly on the Latin iacere, "to throw", dejection means literally "cast down"—that is, "downcast". Like melancholy, gloom, and even sadness, dejection seems to have been declining in use for many years; instead, we now seem to prefer depression (whose roots mean basically "a pressing down"). Since depression is also the word used by doctors, lots of people now assume that anyone depressed should be taking an antidepressant; if we went back to dejected and dejection, we might not be so quick to make that assumption.

Examples of dejection in a Sentence

I find that ice cream often works wonders when trying to overcome dejection.
Recent Examples on the Web This is a condition to which the characters of her novels aspire—for the most part, in vain, swinging back and forth between giddy excitement and deep dejection. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 Rhys’s Mason—not yet an attorney—slumped his way through different levels of professional and personal dejection, with egg on his tie and a hangdog expression. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Conundrum of a New Perry Mason," 25 June 2020 His dejection turned into an uncontrollable smile when Milwaukee drafted Warren in the third round, 92nd overall. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "If Central Michigan's Zavier Warren can hit, Brewers will find him position," 13 June 2020 Madness, dejection, elation and shock ensued when both sidelines — and the 42,363 fans in attendance — realized Carter caught the Hail Mary. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, "SportsDay staffers pick the best plays they’ve ever witnessed: Game-winners, miraculous catches and rare anomalies," 4 May 2020 Not every player spoke out on social media in the hours after the decision, but those who did mixed gratitude and dejection. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville players thank fans and bare souls on social media as NCAA Tournament canceled," 12 Mar. 2020 Trubisky said, his somber tone a mix of defeat and dejection. Rich Campbell,, "Column: Without Mitch Trubisky, the rest of this Bears season will be a complete waste," 18 Nov. 2019 Hauser taps into Jewell’s tendency toward hangdog dejection beautifully, giving a performance miles away from the cartoonish (but cute) work he’s done onscreen until now. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Richard Jewell Offers a Murky Picture of Heroism," 10 Dec. 2019 But after a last-second defeat against the 76ers, there wasn’t a feeling of dejection in the locker room. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers feeling more connected, ‘pretty damn good,’ following first road trip that featured team bonding," 13 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dejection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dejection

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dejection

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The first known use of dejection was in the 15th century

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Statistics for dejection

Last Updated

16 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dejection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for dejection


How to pronounce dejection (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dejection

: sadness that is caused by failure, loss, etc.


de·​jec·​tion | \ di-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce dejection (audio) \

Kids Definition of dejection

: a feeling of sadness


de·​jec·​tion | \ -ˈjek-shən How to pronounce dejection (audio) \

Medical Definition of dejection

1 : lowness of spirits : depression, melancholy
2a : the act or process of defecating

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