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 The celebration commenced in Milwaukee and dejection weighed down Phoenix. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 July 2021 Smith’s weariness and dejection poured out at 6:58 a.m. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 27 May 2021 Over on Twitter the news of Yahoo Answers shuttering was mostly met with dejection mixed in with a bit of snarkiness. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2021 It, scientifically, has been proven to give you feelings of dejection, stress and just plain ‘ol hassle. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 As the first ball sailed over the center-field fence, Mike Mayers bent over in dejection, head hung low, hands on knees. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 But after a week of back-and-forth deliberation, district officials found a way to meet Brown’s requirements, and, in a matter of hours, football players went from dejection to elation. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 26 Feb. 2021 The Cavs have repeatedly walked off the court with looks of dejection recently. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 24 Feb. 2021 Tyishawn Smiley scored the go-ahead points and Jamarion Johnson added a clinching layup off a steal in the final moments to seal the Tigers’ 85-82 Lake Erie League boys basketball victory, but relief came with a hint of dejection. Matt Goul, cleveland, 5 Jan. 2021

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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Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dejection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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 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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