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 disillusion (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 disillusion (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disillusion

Synonyms: Verb

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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 In a recent interview with Vogue, the former Disney Channel actress expressed her disillusion with — and contemplated leaving — the music industry. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Cardi B doesn’t want Selena Gomez to retire from music: ‘She needs one more era’," 11 Mar. 2021 The clerics might see his candidacy as a way to get out the vote at a time of widespread disillusion with the status quo. The Economist, "Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad want to be president of Iran again?," 20 Feb. 2021 The main reason behind the disillusion with democracy among young people was inequality of wealth and income, the report said, citing figures showing that Millennials make up around a quarter of the US population but hold just 3% of the wealth. Reuters, CNN, "Millennials are losing faith in democracy, study suggests," 20 Oct. 2020 Their prominence is a sign that in Chile, where disillusion with the political class was behind a huge wave of protests a year ago, mayors are less discredited than parliamentarians or ministers. The Economist, "Bello The growing importance of Latin America’s mayors," 3 Oct. 2020 Over the years, disillusion set in, and the dream collapsed in the 1990s. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, "Cuba Is Staying Strong," 7 Sep. 2020 One thing leads to another, and the rest of le Carré’s distinctive ingredients come sifting in: queasy loyalties and disillusion, enemy agents’ unholy infatuation with on another, and cynical, high-level scapegoating. Washington Post, "In these new audiobooks, great tales are matched with great narrators," 17 Dec. 2019 In the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, economic desperation and disillusion became a broadly American experience. Susanna Lee, The Conversation, "When confronting the coronavirus, tough isn’t enough," 1 Apr. 2020 His disillusion contributed to the laughter, and although he wasn’t nominated for a supporting-role Oscar (Cher and Olympia Dukakis won in their categories), Aiello was inundated with movie offers. Washington Post, "Blue-collar character actor Danny Aiello has died at age 86," 13 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The goal is to disillusion us about ourselves, and to build kinship. Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic, "Is America Trapped in a Caste System?," 25 Nov. 2020 Those criticisms only became more acute in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis as many people, disillusioned with capitalism, pointed fingers squarely at banks and other financial institutions whose executives are mainstays at Davos. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "One of the world’s most elite gatherings says it will be open to all in 2021," 3 June 2020 In one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the first two episodes, Krause walks out to receive his championship ring, where a crowd now disillusioned with him reacts as if it were just announced that beer sales would be suspended for the night. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Is it fair to portray Jerry Krause, architect of the Jordan-era Bulls, as a villain?," 20 Apr. 2020 Just like David's disillusioning encounter with an unseen Andy Warhol in New York. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Stardust': Film Review | Tribeca 2020," 16 Apr. 2020 And as with Vietnam and Iraq, the results were costly and disillusioning. Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's magazine, "The Old Normal," 2 Mar. 2020 Getty Images—2016 Dave Kotinsky While Lindley slowly began to receive work, including recurring roles in Outsiders and Mr. Robot, she was often disillusioned by the characters she was asked to play. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "'More Than a Diversity Box to Be Checked.' Eve Lindley Is Poised to Become the Breakout Star of Dispatches From Elsewhere," 28 Feb. 2020 Eriksen has appeared in eight of Spurs' nine Premier League matches this term, although often from the bench with his dip in form attributed to being disillusioned with life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. SI.com, "Real Madrid Cool Interest in Christian Eriksen 'Due to Form of Returning Youngster'," 24 Oct. 2019 The main character, Emma Bovary, has devoured romantic novels and is disillusioned by a provincial existence that has proven dull. Susanna Lee, The Conversation, "We’re living in the bizarre world that Flaubert envisioned," 10 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for disillusion

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The first known use of disillusion was in 1591

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Last Updated

15 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disillusion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disillusion. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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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