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

Definition of dejection

: lowness of spirits

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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 A day after celebrating a 2-1 6A baseball playoff win over Chandler Hamilton, Queen Creek players felt the dejection of being told their season is over. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 Weirder still, Manolete’s ugliness appeared to be a very specific strain of ugliness, one that communicated sadness and dejection. New York Times, 3 May 2022 This disgusting hate could send trans athletes down a dark emotional road that way too many have gone down in the past -- a path of dejection and despair. Danielle Mclean, CNN, 20 Apr. 2022 After 42 seasons, the final image of Krzyzewski's career is one of dejection. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2022 The ecstasy of that moment inside the Cleveland Cavaliers’ team bus quickly turned to dejection. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 5 Feb. 2022 The All-Star guard, who finished with 37 points and, for much of the game, very nearly had half of his team’s scoring total, went from quiet dejection to seething anger as his postgame media session went on. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Mar. 2022 As your dejection grows, other bad feelings intrude. Charlie Tyson, The Atlantic, 30 Jan. 2022 Gonell, watching the news, seeing the dejection in the body language of the five people leaving the Senate, was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. New York Times, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of dejection

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Dejection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for dejection


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

More from Merriam-Webster on dejection

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


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