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

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 Some people leaving the luncheon interview said that they weren’t surprised by the remarks given Mr. Zell’s reputation and added that they were dismayed. Esther Fung, WSJ, "Sam Zell Uses Vulgarity in Discussing Hiring of Women," 6 June 2018 His side finished eighth in the league but fans have been dismayed by his style of play, which has caused strong speculation around his future. SI.com, "Everton Sacks Sam Allardyce After Short-Term Stint With Club," 16 May 2018 Some career civil servants at the agency, many of whom have worked there through several presidential administrations and are dismayed over Mr. Pruitt’s policies, appeared hopeful at the prospect of the administrator’s downfall. New York Times, "Growing Crisis Threatens Scott Pruitt, E.P.A. Chief, as Top Aides Eye the Exits," 5 Apr. 2018 Despite the scene in London, plenty of U.K. residents welcomed the president and were dismayed at the demonstrations. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump starts UK leg amid scattered protests, Brexit divisions," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

We weren’t designed to be separated from our babies -that is, to every critic’s dismay, scientific fact. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Nicole Curtis Is Fighting For Custody Of Her 3-Year-Old Son," 11 July 2018 That surprise quickly turned to dismay, as the project descended into rancor, litigation, and even the odd rumor of an international assassination plot. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 The department previously refused to release video footage, much to the public’s dismay. Monique Judge, The Root, "Finally, LAPD Will Make Bodycam and Dashcam Videos Public," 20 Mar. 2018 To my dismay, confusion reigned supreme, resulting in more questions and few, if any answers. latimes.com, "Calendar Letters: 'Westworld' confusion, Arroyo Seco vibes, 'Roseanne' fallout and border politics," 30 June 2018 Some Mormons have expressed dismay that they were counseled to stay in abusive relationships or keep matters in house. Washington Post, "Woman says Mormon church failed to report dad’s sexual abuse," 28 June 2018 The movie, much to my dismay, spends a lot of time explaining the integrity of their relationship and it’s Kronthaler who does most of the talking. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "This Vivienne Westwood documentary details how the designer built a killer brand on her own potty-mouthed terms," 28 June 2018 Aside from baseball’s more central issues, Manfred also expressed dismay that a video of an argument between former Mets manager Terry Collins and game umpires from last year had leaked out. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Rob Manfred Addresses the Shift, Gambling and That Viral Terry Collins Video," 14 June 2018 At a press conference Friday, Salem City Manager Steve Powers expressed dismay that the city's outreach strategy appeared mangled. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Salem water sees decrease in toxins, while Wilsonville sees increase," 1 June 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

30 Sep 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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Comments on dismay

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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