Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To destroy the courage or resolution of by exciting dread or apprehension.
  • transitive v. To cause to lose enthusiasm; disillusion: was dismayed to learn that her favorite dancer used drugs.
  • transitive v. To upset or alarm.
  • n. A sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden or complete loss of courage and firmness in the face of trouble or danger; overwhelming and disabling terror; a sinking of the spirits; consternation.
  • n. Condition fitted to dismay; ruin.
  • v. To disable with alarm or apprehensions; to depress the spirits or courage of; to deprive of firmness and energy through fear; to daunt; to appall; to terrify.
  • v. To render lifeless; to subdue; to disquiet.
  • v. To take dismay or fright; to be filled with dismay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Loss of courage and firmness through fear; overwhelming and disabling terror; a sinking of the spirits; consternation.
  • n. Condition fitted to dismay; ruin.
  • intransitive v. To take dismay or fright; to be filled with dismay.
  • transitive v. To disable with alarm or apprehensions; to depress the spirits or courage of; to deprive or firmness and energy through fear; to daunt; to appall; to terrify.
  • transitive v. To render lifeless; to subdue; to disquiet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break down the courage of, as by sudden danger or insuperable difficulty; overcome with fear of impending calamity or failure; fill with despairing apprehension; utterly dishearten: usually in the past participle.
  • To defeat by sudden onslaught; put to rout.
  • To disquiet; trouble: usually reflexive.
  • Synonyms To appal, daunt, dispirit, deject, frighten, paralyse, demoralize.
  • To be daunted; stand aghast with fear; be confounded with terror.
  • n. Sudden or complete loss of courage; despairing fear or apprehension; discouraged or terrified amazement; utter disheartenment.
  • n. Ruin; defeat; destruction.
  • n. Synonyms Apprehension, Fright, etc. (see alarm); discouragement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. fill with apprehension or alarm; cause to be unpleasantly surprised
  • v. lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
  • n. the feeling of despair in the face of obstacles
  • n. fear resulting from the awareness of danger

Etymologies

Middle English dismaien, from Anglo-Norman *desmaiier : probably de-, intensive pref.; see de- + Old French esmaier, to frighten (from Vulgar Latin *exmagāre, to deprive of power : Latin ex-, ex- + Germanic *magan, to be able to; see magh- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English dismayen, from Anglo-Norman *desmaiier, alteration of Old French esmaier ("to frighten"), from Vulgar Latin *exmagare (“to deprive (someone) of strength, to disable”), from ex- + *magare (“to enable, empower”), from Proto-Germanic *maginan, *maganan (“might, power”), from Proto-Indo-European *mēgh- (“to be able”). Akin to Old High German magan, megin ("power, might, main"), Old English mæġen ("might, main"), Old High German magan, mugan ("to be powerful, able"), Old English magan ("to be able"). More at main, may. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So one day I´m working on the inland side of the house and I hear this shouting in dismay from the ocean side so I walked through the house and there was my wife shouting at the sea, Just shut the hell up will you?

    Page 2

  • While New York celebrated this win, Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore watched in dismay from the penalty box.

    USATODAY.com - Hockey - Carolina vs. N.Y. Islanders

  • As he ate he spoke, and his first words provoked an exclamation of dismay from the Frenchman, which was hastily smothered with a murmured apology, and then Diana became aware that others had come into the room.

    The Sheik

  • I don't see the word dismay anywhere in the quotes.

    Manchester Evening News - RSS Feed

  • Tolteca chuckled, recalling their dismay when he announced that this trip would be on shank's mare.

    do you ever read writing?

  • At that terrible name dismay, and a panic impossible to describe, spread through the brig.

    A Woman of Thirty

  • BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, this morning they are continuing to express what one could only describe as their dismay here about this entire incident because, of course, now, "Newsweek" has apologized and said its original story is wrong.

    CNN Transcript May 16, 2005

  • Sandy opened the bottle of wine, which Ben saw to his dismay was a supermarket Riesling.

    Piranha to Scurfy & Other Stories

  • Mingled with his dismay was a strange pang of personal regret and disappointment.

    Kilmeny of the Orchard

  • On examination, however, they discovered that a violent gale had forced open the lid of the instrument box, and that several things were missing, among which Scott found to his dismay was the 'Hints to Travelers.'

    The Voyages of Captain Scott : Retold from the Voyage of the Discovery and Scott's Last Expedition

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