dismay

verb
dis·​may | \ dis-ˈmā How to pronounce dismay (audio) , diz- \
dismayed; dismaying

Definition of dismay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to lose courage or resolution (as because of alarm or fear) must not let ourselves be dismayed by the task before us
2 : upset, perturb were dismayed by the condition of the building

dismay

noun

Definition of dismay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sudden loss of courage or resolution from alarm or fear watched with dismay as flames engulfed their home
2a : sudden disappointment announced her retirement, much to the dismay of her fans
b : perturbation sense 1 expressed dismay at his strange behavior

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for dismay

Verb

dismay, appall, horrify, daunt mean to unnerve or deter by arousing fear, apprehension, or aversion. dismay implies that one is disconcerted and at a loss as to how to deal with something. dismayed at the size of the job appall implies that one is faced with that which perturbs, confounds, or shocks. I am appalled by your behavior horrify stresses a reaction of horror or revulsion. was horrified by such wanton cruelty daunt suggests a cowing, disheartening, or frightening in a venture requiring courage. a cliff that would daunt the most intrepid climber

Examples of dismay in a Sentence

Verb Her choice of career dismays her parents. the imposing climb up the mountain dismayed us even before we got started Noun His comments were met with cries of dismay. They watched in dismay as the house burned. Much to the dismay of her fans, she announced her retirement immediately after the book's release. To my dismay, I did not get chosen for the job. We listened with dismay to the news of the accident.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Our elation quickly turned to dismay during the first extreme winter. WSJ, 8 June 2021 Remarkably, while 2020 brought burn-out, disease, and dismay to much of America and the world, employees at these high-trust, inclusive companies described heightened feelings of trust, pride, and community. Michael Bush, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2021 But any backing away from overhauling qualified immunity would dismay progressives and civil rights advocates, who believe the Floyd case could and should mark a turning point in US history that helps usher in fundamental reform. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 23 Apr. 2021 But even among Democratic leaders, including mayors and President Biden, dismay over police violence has often been paired with warnings that protesters avoid violence, too. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2021 An interception in the endzone and a fumble at the 20 temporarily stalled the Cardinals, but Kipp said that didn’t dismay his team. cleveland, 17 Oct. 2020 Here's the killer and the figure that would dismay Friedman. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 29 July 2020 Trump's fulfillment of a campaign promise to exit the Iran nuclear deal has had wide ripple effects, leading Tehran to bolster its nuclear capabilities and dismaying European capitals who worked to establish the original agreement. Author: Jonathan Lemire And Deb Riechmann, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Sep. 2019 Local listeners were dismayed and radio journalists and experts troubled. Harley Brown, Billboard, 30 Apr. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Allison, ever the responsible buzzkill, watches in dismay. Darren Franich, EW.com, 7 June 2021 And rather than react in dismay, New York Times progressive columnist Michelle Goldberg lamented that attacks on Jews might undermine the Palestinian political cause. The Editors, National Review, 26 May 2021 Iran watched in dismay last year as four Arab countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco — normalized ties with Israel and declared Iran the biggest threat to regional stability. New York Times, 23 May 2021 In reaction to the verdict, most Americans stayed inside and shook their heads in dismay. Van Jones, CNN, 19 Apr. 2021 Bill Murray dutifully raked one bunker and muttered in dismay when shots drifted off target. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Feb. 2021 King would shudder in dismay at the weaponization of identity politics. Kendall Qualls, Star Tribune, 17 Jan. 2021 Froehlich, who moved from Michigan to Bethesda, Md., with his partner, watched Trump in dismay. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2020 Beck says the council vote has sent the residents in dismay. Alexis Oatman, cleveland, 22 Oct. 2020

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dismay

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French desmaier, from des- dis- + -maier, from Vulgar Latin *-magare, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German magan to be able — more at may entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About dismay

Time Traveler for dismay

Time Traveler

The first known use of dismay was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dismay

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dismay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dismay. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dismay

dismay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dismay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (someone) to feel very worried, disappointed, or upset

dismay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dismay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strong feeling of being worried, disappointed, or upset

dismay

verb
dis·​may | \ dis-ˈmā How to pronounce dismay (audio) \
dismayed; dismaying

Kids Definition of dismay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to feel worry, disappointment, fear, or shock … I was dismayed to see what a mess my guests had made of my tree house.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain

dismay

noun

Kids Definition of dismay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of fear, disappointment, shock, or worry We listened with dismay to the bad news.

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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