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.

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Other Words from disillusion


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

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 European Union elections threatened a fresh stage of political instability in the bloc, with results in many countries signaling disillusion with the establishment and polarization among voters. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "European Elections Deepen Divisions in National Capitals," 27 May 2019 Laconic disillusion was a hallmark of the era, but Dubus’s stories tend to be crowded and argumentative. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Books: A Sinner at Home in a Fallen World," 18 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But some members of the tribe, disillusioned by the amount of money going to international groups for logistics management, colluded with loggers and anti-REDD activists to sabotage the project. Paula Moura, ProPublica, "Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing," 22 May 2019 At the end, having been disillusioned by the dreams and the tales of heroism that had sustained him, Arturo leaves the island behind him. Lily Tuck, WSJ, "‘Arturo’s Island’ Review: Childhood’s End," 22 Feb. 2019 The experience disillusioned me about ASU and led me to take a faculty position elsewhere. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Professor: A disturbing story about the influence of the Koch network in higher education," 22 Apr. 2018 There was a missed opportunity to offer an alternative to this culture of consumerism, of capitalism, that a lot of us were already disillusioned with, and the church was doing the exact same thing. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "How Christianity can be an “alternative” to consumerism," 9 Oct. 2018 Instagram has been positioned as a fast-growing and successful alternative to Facebook for teenage users and those disillusioned by Facebook’s privacy violations and its larger impact on digital life. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Instagram’s co-founders have reportedly resigned from Facebook," 25 Sep. 2018 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

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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Statistics for disillusion

Last Updated

27 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disillusion

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 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

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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 complain fretfully

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