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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Turner subsequently issued an endorsement of Sanders that dismayed many Ohio backers of his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Cleveland’s Nina Turner ‘people raises’ for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders," 5 July 2019 He was immediately dismayed by the lethargic, pipe-smoking journalists who worked alongside him. Scott Sherman, The New York Review of Books, "A Muckraker’s Progress," 17 June 2019 However, Professor Margaret McGuiness, who teaches courses on Catholicism at La Salle University, doubted that any steps taken in Baltimore would win back the trust of many lay Catholics dismayed by the multiple scandals. David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Group calls on Cardinal DiNardo to resign amid allegations of mishandling sex abuse case," 10 June 2019 But whether protesting reproductive rights or Brexit, many protesters were dismayed by the apparent lackluster turnout. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Post-Brexit Trade Relations With Trump's America Are a Concern in the U.K.," 6 June 2019 Although some bathrooms reopened near the start of the school day — the morning bell rings at 8:45 a.m. — teachers said they were dismayed that classes began with not all restrooms functioning. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "Teachers walk out, cancel classes for an hour at D.C.’s Anacostia High," 4 Apr. 2018 However, Professor Margaret McGuiness, who teaches courses on Catholicism at La Salle University, doubted that any steps taken in Baltimore would win back the trust of many lay Catholics dismayed by the multiple scandals. David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Group calls on Cardinal DiNardo to resign amid allegations of mishandling sex abuse case," 10 June 2019 However, Professor Margaret McGuiness, who teaches courses on Catholicism at La Salle University, doubted that any steps taken in Baltimore would win back the trust of many lay Catholics dismayed by the multiple scandals. David Crary, baltimoresun.com, "Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene in Baltimore," 9 June 2019 Andreas writes, dismayed by the critical desire for stylistic polish, for harmony and nuance, for an anodyne realism that manipulates the reader into positions of quasi-philosophical profundity. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, "‘Dismembered, Relocated, Rearranged’," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Davies regards our self-protective, self-destructive capacity for redefinition _ denial indistinguishable from optimism _ with dismay, wonder and love, much as did his version of the extraterrestrial time-and-space-traveling Doctor. Robert Lloyd, chicagotribune.com, "Review: HBO’s ‘Years and Years’ finds entertaining family drama in the dystopian near-future," 26 June 2019 Davies regards our self-protective, self-destructive capacity for redefinition — denial indistinguishable from optimism — with dismay, wonder and love, much as did his version of the extraterrestrial time-and-space-traveling Doctor. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "Review: HBO’s ‘Years and Years’ finds entertaining family drama in the dystopian near-future," 24 June 2019 In reaction to a promotional Tweet about the new, limited-time, bacon-topped, double burger, outgoing Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James tweeted the below: James wasn't alone in expressing his dismay. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Kansas City Mayor Shares His Thoughts on McDonald's UK "Kansas City Stack" Burger," 21 June 2019 Its president, Tsai Ing-wen, has on multiple occasions across different social media platforms expressed her support for Hong Kong’s protesters and her dismay at the government’s response. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Why foreign governments are so worried about Hong Kong’s extradition law," 13 June 2019 That scene’s sometimes-harsh, quasi-industrial production is an important part of her arsenal, as is its overall blend of mayhem and dismay. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Ariana Grande Was Updating Pop. Then Billie Eilish Came Along.," 21 June 2019 The new policy, announced on 19 June, sparked exasperation and dismay among climate scientists and environmentalists. Jeff Tollefson, Scientific American, "Trump Administration Relaxes Emissions Limits on Power Plants," 20 June 2019 There is already dismay in European capitals at the US' unilateral withdrawal from the international agreement that committed Iran to stalling any alleged development of nuclear weapons. Sam Kiley, CNN, "Being blamed for the oil tanker attack suits Iran just fine," 18 June 2019 Then, much to the dismay of GMA fans, Sam departed in 2013 for a managing editor gig at The Weather Channel. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Is Sam Champion Back on ABC’s 'Eyewitness News' and 'GMA'? Here’s the Scoop," 12 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for dismay

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dismay

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dismay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dismay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dismay

Spanish Central: Translation of dismay

Nglish: Translation of dismay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dismay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dismay

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