dis·​il·​lu·​sion | \ˌdis-ə-ˈlü-zhən \

Definition of disillusion 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the condition of being disenchanted : the condition of being dissatisfied or defeated in expectation or hope suffered romantic disillusions


disillusioned; disillusioning\-​ˈlü-​zhə-​niŋ \

Definition of disillusion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to free from illusion also : to cause to lose naive faith and trust The job disillusioned her about working in retail.

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Other Words from disillusion


disillusionment \-​ˈlü-​zhən-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms for disillusion

Synonyms: Verb

disabuse, disenchant, undeceive

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Examples of disillusion in a Sentence


Working at that store for six months was enough to disillusion me about retail work. we were disillusioned when we saw how the movie star acted in real life

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Britain is caught in a dangerous cycle of disillusion and anger. The Economist, "People without degrees are the most under-represented minority," 10 May 2018 Registers of loss and disillusion are blended, from the individual to the national and back again. Dustin Illingworth, latimes.com, "Elusive leaps of grace and daring: Rachel Cusk's 'Kudos'," 31 May 2018 For some who supported Mr. Navalny, the outcome was a stark disillusion. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "Putin Wins Russia Election, and Broad Mandate for Fourth Term," 18 Mar. 2018 Anyways, enough about Ayr United. MacLeod's monumental confidence was now being thrust upon the international scene, with the Scotland national team the, um, lucky beneficiaries of his disillusion. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 10 Weeks to Go - The Scotland Side That Promised World Domination...," 13 Apr. 2018 Reasons for disillusion include the slow pace of reconstruction and the lack of jobs. The Economist, "Fifteen years after America’s invasion, Iraq is getting back on its feet," 28 Mar. 2018 Lorenzo Totaro and Alessandra Migliaccio have been to the historic Tuscan strongholds of the Italian left with photographer Geraldine Hope Ghelli to learn about the disillusion among the traditional supporters of Renzi’s PD. Gregory Viscusi, Bloomberg.com, "Five Star’s Italian Rivals Pounce as Pay Pledge Backfires," 14 Feb. 2018 Darkness at Noon, published in 1940, is the lasting monument to his disillusion with Communism. Douglas Murray, National Review, "The Russian Revolution, 100 Years On: Its Enduring Allure and Menace," 30 Oct. 2017 During an interview with Bild, via Sky Sports, Rummenigge responded to comments from the Polish international which showed his disillusion with Bayern not competing in the transfer market for top players. SI.com, "Bayern Munich CEO Criticises Robert Lewandowski in Continuation of Public Spat," 12 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Listen, there's a lot of reasons to be disillusioned. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Rashida Jones Isn’t Afraid to Poke Fun at Herself, as Long as It Gets Voters to the Polls," 17 July 2018 Another important factor is the accumulated, often disillusioning, experience of five Afghan elections and the preparations for a sixth. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Afghanistan’s Elections Shrink in Face of Violence," 18 Oct. 2018 As Poole, Simpson once again plays a convincing disillusioned do-gooder whose Boy Scout determination to make things right is at odds with the corrupt world around him. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "'Unsolved' and 'Atlanta' dive into rap's golden age and beyond," 2 Mar. 2018 Princess Tsianina’s own story, in fact, was the inspiration for the opera, in which the heroine, disillusioned by urban life and caught in a romantic triangle, returns to the values of her tribal society. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Before ‘Hamilton,’ 100 years of American music theater and how it’s told the story of who we are," 29 June 2018 The result has left many Sanders supporters disillusioned, feeling that the group that was supposed to harness the senator's grass-roots movement is failing in its mission. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Hillary Clinton warns of ‘a full-fledged crisis in our democracy’ at Yale," 21 May 2018 Since then, many Mexicans have felt disillusioned by a democratic experiment marked by weak economic growth, corruption and a homicide rate has roughly tripled from 2000 to now. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Win by López Obrador Pushes Mexico Sharply to Left," 2 July 2018 The Change movement has struggled to implement their reform agenda in the face of the KDP-PUK power domination over the years, leaving some supporters disillusioned. Christine Mccaffray Van Den Toorn, Washington Post, "Was Iraq’s recent election a democratic success? Depends whom you ask.," 23 May 2018 One Saudi activist who previously supported the Crown Prince's ambitious reform agenda said he has felt disillusioned by him in recent weeks, canceling plans to return to the kingdom. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "Women's arrests cast doubt on Saudi Crown Prince's reforms," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disillusion.' 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 disillusion


1591, in the meaning defined above


1855, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of disillusion was in 1591

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More Definitions for disillusion



English Language Learners Definition of disillusion

: to cause (someone) to stop believing that something is good, valuable, true, etc.


dis·​il·​lu·​sion | \ˌdis-ə-ˈlü-zhən \
disillusioned; disillusioning

Kids Definition of disillusion

: to cause to stop having a mistaken belief that something is good, valuable, or true Let me disillusion you about the myth of George Washington's wooden teeth.

Other Words from disillusion

disillusionment \-​mənt \ noun

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Comments on disillusion

What made you want to look up disillusion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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