dis·​heart·​en (ˌ)dis-ˈhär-tᵊn How to pronounce dishearten (audio)
disheartened; disheartening; disheartens

transitive verb

: to cause to lose hope, enthusiasm, or courage : to cause to lose spirit or morale
were disheartened by the news
(ˌ)dis-ˈhärt-niŋ-lē How to pronounce dishearten (audio)
disheartenment noun

Example Sentences

The conflict between their families disheartened them. we were disheartened by the news that our grandmother was seriously ill
Recent Examples on the Web We are also disheartened by the violation of our Respect in the Workplace policies and remain committed to ensuring that enhanced training is conducted and standards are followed across all WNBA teams. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 16 May 2023 But for many, Biden's new policies are particularly disheartening because of the very commitments that the president made during his campaign. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 12 May 2023 Led by Taylor and Captain Gordon Scott, both were disheartened when less than 300 individuals were ID-ed. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 The results were disheartening, even back in late 2021, when the researchers ran the experiment. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 31 Mar. 2023 Those of us who appreciate the change of seasons are utterly disheartened and depressed by the apparent demise of Winter. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2023 Less than 24 hours after a disheartening extra-innings loss, Eovaldi threw eight shutout innings, gave up just five hits and stranded six runners on base on 107 pitches in the Rangers’ 10-1 win over the Los Angeles Angeles at Angel Stadium. Shawn Mcfarland, Dallas News, 2 Feb. 2023 In an uncharacteristically sloppy performance that featured errors, unearned runs, base-running blunders and balks, the Beavers walked away wallowing in a triple whammy of disheartening news. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 26 Jan. 2023 Focusing on the gap between savings goals and actual account balances can be disheartening. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dishearten.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dishearten was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near dishearten

Cite this Entry

“Dishearten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​heart·​en (ˈ)dis-ˈhärt-ᵊn How to pronounce dishearten (audio)
: to deprive of courage and hope : discourage
dishearteningly adverb
disheartenment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dishearten

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