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

The Media Lab’s Epstein ties and Zuckerman’s resignation have been dismaying, said Sherry Marts, one of last year’s prize winners, who works with academic trade groups and nonprofits to combat bullying and harassment. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "At MIT, more fallout from the university’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein," 20 Aug. 2019 Mastodon was founded to enable active moderation beyond what Twitter could provide, by empowering those communities to police themselves; its founders were dismayed to see their software appropriated by the hands-off social network Gab. Elaine Ou, Twin Cities, "Elaine Ou: Tech companies want out of the censorship business," 14 Aug. 2019 The discrepancy between the government’s responses to Havas and Mediacorp and to the Nairs has dismayed many Singaporeans. The Economist, "Singapore’s government is not as unprejudiced as it thinks," 8 Aug. 2019 My sister, a liberal Democrat, is a transportation engineer for county and state transportation projects and is dismayed at the waste of money. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "‘You kids get off my lawn!’: The best comments this week on seattletimes.com," 2 Aug. 2019 However, when Brown saw it on Broadway, he was dismayed at the characterization of its Asian-American characters. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Asian-American actor helps update Texas City ‘Millie’ show," 10 July 2019 One executive was dismayed when a young employee missed two of her first five days on the job without calling in, says Adrian Gostick, a Pleasant Grove, Utah, consultant who advised the executive. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Most Anxious Generation Goes to Work," 9 May 2019 More than two-thousand years before the Romantics, the Bohemians or hippies, the Cynics of Athens were dismayed by society’s obsession with money and material things. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 Residents and business owners were outraged and dismayed. Amanda Milkovits, BostonGlobe.com, "Federal Hill is a destination, but longtime residents say that trouble follows," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Israeli officials privately express dismay that a new deal could now be in the works. Benjamin Harvey, Fortune, "Bolton’s Out. Here’s How That Could Affect Trump’s Foreign Policy," 12 Sep. 2019 The surprise move was greeted with dismay and anger in the camps, and beyond. The Economist, "Bangladesh bans mobile phones for 1m Rohingya refugees," 4 Sep. 2019 Dismay in Brussels In Brussels, diplomats looked on in dismay. Rob Picheta, Ivana Kottasová And Nina Dos Santos, CNN, "Boris Johnson fails in high stakes attempt to call snap general election," 4 Sep. 2019 Trump is not the first president whose use of language has provoked ridicule and dismay. Sarah Lyall, BostonGlobe.com, "There or their? Sticklers twitch at President Trump’s posts," 31 Aug. 2019 Much of the dismay centers on the consent decree the city signed with the Department of Justice in April 2017. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore police feeling targeted both on the streets and by leadership," 30 Aug. 2019 With the Eagles, Gruden, working from the coaches booth, once exchanged middle fingers with Ricky Watters on the sideline over the running back’s dismay over not getting enough carries. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders’ Gruden on ‘Hard Knocks’ portrayal: ‘I’m not as foul-mouthed as people think’," 17 Aug. 2019 Others shared their dismay at his absence during the film on Twitter using the hashtag #Justice4Frankie. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Why Everyone Is Talking About Frankie Jonas’ 30 Seconds Of Fame," 5 June 2019 But in a meeting with his supervisor, his dismay quickly turned to delight. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Earth's seafloor may be destined to become diamonds," 30 May 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 entry 1

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Learn More about dismay

Statistics for dismay

Last Updated

17 Sep 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

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