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[dis-hahr-tn] /dɪsˈhɑr tn/
verb (used with object)
to depress the hope, courage, or spirits of; discourage.
Origin of dishearten
First recorded in 1590-1600; dis-1 + hearten
Related forms
disheartener, noun
dishearteningly, adverb
disheartenment, noun
undisheartened, adjective
dismay, daunt, deject, dispirit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for disheartening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Life isn't as disheartening as it would be if it lasted longer.

  • Doing things that were of no value to any one was so disheartening.

  • The day was worse than its predecessor, inexpressibly gloomy and disheartening.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • This was disheartening, but at least it taught me to begin at the furthest point in future.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • But nevertheless it was a hard blow--a disheartening blow--to all of them.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
  • It is a case of disheartening atony for which there is no possible cure.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • But what with wind and fog and rain it was a disheartening business.

    Billy Topsail & Company

    Norman Duncan
British Dictionary definitions for disheartening


(transitive) to weaken or destroy the hope, courage, enthusiasm, etc, of
Derived Forms
dishearteningly, adverb
disheartenment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disheartening



1590s (first recorded in "Henry V"), from dis- "the opposite of" + hearten. Related: Disheartened; disheartening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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