dismay

verb
dis·​may | \dis-ˈmā, 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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Other Words from dismay

Verb

dismayingly \-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

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

But she was dismayed by how health care in the U.S. can sometimes emphasize productivity and cost-effectiveness over quality of patient care. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 2018 Don't be dismayed when strawberries don't bear much the first year. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "What you need to know to grow your own Oregon strawberries," 8 May 2018 The deal was dismaying to many in Asia who have often compared the rival apps in search of the best deal. Elaine Kurtenbach, USA TODAY, "Uber selling Southeast Asian business to regional rival Grab," 26 Mar. 2018 But while Thomas, an artist, is prepared to live as a gay man back in the postwar world, Michael, a businessman, is dismayed by that idea. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "A history of shame in a nuanced ‘Man in an Orange Shirt’," 13 June 2018 Buckley made the request over the weekend (just two days after the shooting), and was reportedly dismayed by Trump’s rejection, according to The Baltimore Sun, which owns the Capital Gazette. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Ordered Flags to Be Lowered in Honor of Capital Gazette Victims," 3 July 2018 Overwhelmed by the numbers and dismayed by the futility of the cull, Berlin wildlife commissioner Derk Ehlert instead turned to the private sector. Fox News, "Can't beat 'em? Eat 'em! Berlin captures, cooks crayfish," 11 June 2018 Overwhelmed by the numbers and dismayed by the futility and waste of the crayfish cull, Berlin wildlife commissioner Derk Ehlert instead turned to the private sector. Washington Post, "Can’t beat ‘em? Eat ‘em! Berlin captures, cooks crayfish," 11 June 2018 Beijing is frustrated with Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese goods and dismayed by suggestions in the West that China has a weak bargaining position. Ana Swanson, BostonGlobe.com, "China is set to take a hard line on Trump’s trade demands," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many of his fans followed suit, to the vociferous dismay of many others — a testament to how one artist's personal aesthetic choices can have such a far-reaching impression. Sharine Taylor, Allure, "For These Dancehall Artists, Hair Is Just as Important as the Music," 27 Sep. 2018 Environmental groups expressed dismay when he was tapped to lead the federal agency, and Pruitt has since sought to roll back various environmental regulations, including Obama-era car emission standards. Michael Boren, Philly.com, "Scott Pruitt resigns at EPA; Andrew Wheeler to take over," 5 July 2018 The fast food establishment first began teasing the release of the unusual flavor earlier in the spring — to the internet’s surprise, delight and (some) dismay. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Pickle Juice Slushies Are Here to Remind Us That Nothing Is Sacred Anymore," 11 June 2018 The following year, Buzbee parked a World War II tank (reportedly purchased at auction in France for a cool $600,000) on the residential street, much to the home owners association's dismay. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Tony Buzbee shows off collection of Warhol, Monet and Picasso, helps art initiative raise $30,000," 4 June 2018 For those caught in the middle, there’s deep dismay toward American leadership. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "Right to work? In Silicon Valley, visa fight as symbol of blocked American dream.," 27 Apr. 2018 Competing plans to build a 7-mile toll road through Bithlo are causing frustration among residents and dismay with some transportation experts. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Planned expressway through Bithlo triggers frustration and confusion," 25 Apr. 2018 The delay of the chip, which has a higher density of transistors, thus boosting its power, was met with dismay by investors, since Intel initially said the product would be widely available in the second half of 2017. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Intel Looks to Calm Concerns on Supplies: What to Watch," 25 Oct. 2018 Fans of the company spoke out with dismay on Twitter Friday, remembering the store’s iconic brown-and-white striped bags and hat boxes. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Shoppers Mourn the End of Henri Bendel, Which Is Closing After 123 Years," 14 Sep. 2018

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

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

Noun

see dismay entry 1

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Learn More about dismay

Dictionary Entries near dismay

dismantler

dismask

dismast

dismay

dismayedness

dismayful

disme

Statistics for dismay

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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 \
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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