dis·​il·​lu·​sion | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce disillusion (audio) \

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\ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈlü-​zhə-​niŋ How to pronounce disillusioning (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disillusion


disillusionment \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈlü-​zhən-​mənt How to pronounce disillusionment (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disillusion

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of disillusion in a Sentence

Verb 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 And whereas The Sopranos felt singularly American, a classic immigrant story about disillusion and the American dream, Thrones was a model of globalization, a wideband broadcaster of consumerist good cheer. Adam Wilson, Harper's magazine, "Good Bad Bad Good," 16 Sep. 2019 His own trauma, disillusion, and secrets contribute to some welcome plot tension, which Kait and her primary squadmate Del must contend with. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Gears of War 5 hands-on: A new blockbuster for the game-subscription era," 30 Aug. 2019 Increasingly hobbled by injury (and disillusion) over those five years, Gent was traded after the 1968 season to the Giants, who waived him in the summer of ’69. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Artists here capitalize on the emotional tension between illusion and disillusion, innocence and knowledge. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "MFA takes visitors to ‘delectable’ fantasy worlds with two new exhibitions," 8 Aug. 2019 Trump’s disillusion with Fox is unlikely to last, but his growing reliance on, and legitimation of, far-right figures betrays an increasing desperation to find allies in media who will confirm his increasingly deranged worldview. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump Assembles His Gang of Social-Media Deplorables," 11 July 2019 Guatemalans voted for a new president Sunday following an electoral process that generated widespread disillusion and distrust, and came as tens of thousands were fleeing poverty and gang violence to seek a new life in the United States. Fox News, "Guatemalans choose new president as many journey to US for better life," 17 June 2019 Their generation knew too much about disappointment and disillusion. Lindsey Hilsum, The New York Review of Books, "‘Souvenirs or Landmarks’: The Photographs of Susan Meiselas," 8 June 2019 The Vermont senator argues that the growth the president boasts about still leaves behind rural and Rust Belt voters whose disillusion over job losses and low wages helped power the Republican into the White House three years ago. Laura Litvan, Fortune, "Bernie Sanders Rips 'Grotesque' Greed and 'Starvation Wages' at Walmart Shareholder Meeting," 5 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Palestinians are disillusioned by his failure to deliver an independent state, his loss of the Gaza Strip to the rival Hamas movement and general economic malaise. Washington Post, "Palestinian leader fires advisers, wants bonuses returned," 19 Aug. 2019 Palestinians are disillusioned by his failure to deliver an independent state, his loss of the Gaza Strip to the rival Hamas movement and general economic malaise. Mohammed Daraghmeh, Fox News, "Palestinian leader fires advisers, wants bonuses returned," 20 Aug. 2019 Roberts said the whole series of events encouraged but also slightly disillusioned him. Los Angeles Times, "Storm Area 51 creator: ‘I sparked a movement while I was bored at 2 a.m.’," 12 Sep. 2019 Three people who worked with IdealFuture describe being initially fascinated but quickly disillusioned by the project — and losing thousands of dollars in the process. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The crowdfunded phone of the future was a multimillion-dollar scam," 13 Aug. 2019 Ordinary Taiwanese were disillusioned with her stewardship of the economy. The Economist, "Tsai Ing-wen’s prospects for re-election have improved," 25 July 2019 Vaughters finds himself on the outs, disillusioned with Postal’s frat-party culture and looking for a way to stop doping. Bill Gifford, Outside Online, "Jonathan Vaughters Goes Deep into Cycling’s Dirty Past," 24 July 2019 When Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to step up Mexico’s immigration enforcement to avert U.S. tariffs, many analysts expected his base to be disillusioned. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "Unauthorized immigrants face public backlash in Mexico, survey finds," 17 July 2019 Beth's younger sister Annie is also disillusioned by their long con, having discovered that her new beau Noah is actually an FBI trying to get the drop on her. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "'Good Girls' Is Returning for an Explosive Third Season," 10 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of disillusion


1591, in the meaning defined above


1855, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disillusion

Statistics for disillusion

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for disillusion

The first known use of disillusion was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce disillusion (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!