1

dismay

verb dis·may \ dis-ˈmā , diz- \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of dismay

dismayed; dismaying
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

dismayingly

play \-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of dismay in a Sentence

  1. Her choice of career dismays her parents.

  2. the imposing climb up the mountain dismayed us even before we got started

Recent Examples of dismay from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dismay

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

Synonym Discussion of dismay

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

2

dismay

noun

Definition of dismay

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

Examples of dismay in a Sentence

  1. His comments were met with cries of dismay.

  2. They watched in dismay as the house burned.

  3. Much to the dismay of her fans, she announced her retirement immediately after the book's release.

  4. To my dismay, I did not get chosen for the job.

  5. We listened with dismay to the news of the accident.

Recent Examples of dismay from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dismay


DISMAY Defined for English Language Learners

dismay

verb

Definition of dismay for English Language Learners

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


dismay

noun

Definition of dismay for English Language Learners

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


DISMAY Defined for Kids

1

dismay

verb dis·may \ dis-ˈmā \

Definition of dismay for Students

dismayed; dismaying
: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

2

dismay

noun

Definition of dismay for Students

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


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