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

Some analysts said they were dismayed that his inaugural speech sounded so many notes against the free-market policies of the past few decades. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Mexico’s New Leader Takes Office Vowing a Bigger State Role in the Economy," 1 Dec. 2018 Pompeo played down the rift over Trump's behavior during and after last week's Group of Seven summit in Canada, which left allies shocked and dismayed. Philip Rucker, chicagotribune.com, "Secretary of State Pompeo on Trump's diplomatic crisis: 'There are always irritants in relationships'," 11 June 2018 High rents are further dismaying many, mostly younger urban Chinese who already feel priced out of the market for owning an apartment. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "China’s Property-Market Woes Deepen With Rising Rents," 2 Oct. 2018 On one level, the revelation that Google executives were dismayed by the 2016 election is completely unsurprising. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Leaked 2016 video will fuel conservative worries about Google bias," 13 Sep. 2018 Kelly's shifting version of events drew a loud rebuke from former communications director Hope Hicks, who had been dating Porter, and dismayed a number of West Wing staffers. Jonathan Lemire And Catherine Lucey, chicagotribune.com, "Inside a White House in tumult, John Kelly's influence dwindles," 5 Apr. 2018 Trump's announcement reversed decades of U.S. policy, delighting Israel's government but dismaying Palestinians, who want the eastern part of the city as their capital. NBC News, "U.S. will open Jerusalem embassy in May: State Department," 23 Feb. 2018 Everbridge was founded about 15 years ago by Los Angeles entrepreneurs who were dismayed by the poor performance of emergency communication systems during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "At Everbridge, tracking bad news is good business," 8 July 2018 The jury ends up deadlocked, meaning that the judge can declare a mistrial, but Archie is dismayed by the prospect of a whole new trial. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Archie's already made a terrible decision.," 11 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shopping 12 Slides The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and spring sales are starting -- much to our bank accounts dismay. Teen Vogue, "Everything We’re Buying From & Other Stories Sale Before It’s Too Late," 20 Mar. 2019 Not a single stroke of eyeliner or fleck of glitter is in sight, either (honestly, to my dismay). Devon Abelman, Allure, "How EXO's Baekhyun Put His Identity into Privé Alliance," 9 Mar. 2019 Now, to their dismay and bafflement, some are disappearing without a sound. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "Someone is stealing bells and gongs from buoys in Maine," 25 June 2018 Many more, including Naomi Campbell, Clare Waight Keller, Julien d’Ys, Helmut Lang, Karen Elson, and Michel Gaubert shared posts expressing their sorrow and dismay. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Fashion Luxury Groups, Kering and LVMH, Pledge Combined 300 Million Euros to Repair Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 Much to every parent's joy (and every student's dismay), a new school year is coming. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Your State's Tax-Free Weekend," 27 July 2018 Probably because, despite the overall dismay, a solid majority of Republicans support the president’s child-traumatizing border policy. Scot Lehigh, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump voters must protest his border outrage," 21 June 2018 To the dismay of some, art fairs have become somewhat of a spectacle, with street style photographers, champagne bars, VIP lounges, and increasingly pricey entry fees. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "The Armory Show’s Collectors Dinner Gathered the Art World's Most Influential," 6 Mar. 2019 In multiple media reports over two days, the family members of those who were killed have expressed dismay over the case’s outcome. Matt Stevens, New York Times, "2 Men Plead No Contest in Oakland Ghost Ship Fire That Killed 36," 3 July 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 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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Learn More about dismay

Statistics for dismay

Last Updated

13 May 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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