de·​jec·​tion | \di-ˈjek-shən, 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

The Argentina superstar will end his career among the all-time greats of soccer, but after another major tournament ended in failure and dejection, the reality hit that his cupboard will remain empty of a World Cup trophy. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Messi comes up short again, new star arises as France eliminates Argentina at World Cup," 30 June 2018 After the game, Nawałka, via Gazeta pomorska, revealed his dejection at the way his side had performed, before taking full responsibility for his side's shortcomings., "Poland Boss Adam Nawałka Takes Full Responsibility Following Crushing 3-0 Defeat to Colombia," 25 June 2018 For all the disappointment and dejection of that day at Wembley back in 2016, a message was evoked from the very centre of the Palace end of the national stadium, a message that read 'This Mentality is Unstoppable'., "'This Mentality is Unstoppable': A Homage to That FA Cup Final Display and What it Means for Palace," 7 Feb. 2018 Perhaps even stronger than all the above is the psychological sense of dejection and withdrawal of political and military support from the opposition, leaving it to face the Russians and the Syrian regime alone. Asaad Hanna, Time, "Why Syrians Are Returning to Life Under Assad," 18 May 2018 Since all the teams that made it already were announced, the bracket rollout lacked the usual celebratory and dejection footage for the bubble team. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "New format for NCAA tournament selection show draws criticism," 11 Mar. 2018 Although Talley expresses enthusiasm for Melania's outfit, his utter dejection at seeing Trump take office is all too apparent. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Gospel According to Andre': Film Review | Tribeca 2018," 27 Apr. 2018 Then, the third place team skated across the ice and the dejection was even stronger. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Lansing's Hubbell, Donohue surprise to win U.S. Figure Skating title," 7 Jan. 2018 All of the sadness and dejection that the West Germans caused back in '82 had been washed away by the final piece of the jigsaw slotting in seamlessly., "World Cup Countdown: 9 Weeks to Go - France's Magnificent Midfield Quartet, Le Carré Magique," 19 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near dejection






de jure


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Time Traveler for dejection

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

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More Definitions for dejection



English Language Learners Definition of dejection

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


de·​jec·​tion | \di-ˈjek-shən \

Kids Definition of dejection

: a feeling of sadness


de·​jec·​tion | \-ˈjek-shən \

Medical Definition of dejection 

1 : lowness of spirits : depression, melancholy

2a : the act or process of defecating

b : feces, excrement

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More from Merriam-Webster on dejection

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dejection

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dejection

Spanish Central: Translation of dejection

Nglish: Translation of dejection for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about dejection

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