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dismay

[dis-mey] /dɪsˈmeɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble; dishearten thoroughly; daunt:
The surprise attack dismayed the enemy.
2.
to surprise in such a manner as to disillusion:
She was dismayed to learn of their disloyalty.
3.
to alarm; perturb:
The new law dismayed some of the more conservative politicians.
noun
4.
sudden or complete loss of courage; utter disheartenment.
5.
sudden disillusionment.
6.
agitation of mind; perturbation; alarm.
Origin of dismay
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English desmay (noun), de(s)mayen, dismayen (v.) < presumed AF alteration, by prefix change, of Old French esmaier to trouble, frighten < Vulgar Latin *exmagāre to disable, deprive of strength, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + *magāre < Germanic *magan to be able to; see may1
Related forms
dismayedness
[dis-meyd-nis, -mey-id-] /dɪsˈmeɪd nɪs, -ˈmeɪ ɪd-/ (Show IPA),
noun
dismayingly, adverb
undismayed, adjective
Synonyms
1. appall, terrify, frighten, scare, intimidate, disconcert. See discourage. 4. consternation, terror, panic, horror, fear.
Antonyms
1. hearten. 4. confidence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dismayed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wretched about one son, he was dismayed at the nocturnal visit of the other.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The little parish woke with a dismayed start and went to work, to a woman.

  • She had been smiling while she was telling this to him, but now she dismayed him by bursting into tears.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • “You must hide me till the morning somewhere,” she said in a dismayed voice.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • And then, too, I was dismayed to find how totally I had mistaken the position of the musician.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
British Dictionary definitions for dismayed

dismay

/dɪsˈmeɪ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to fill with apprehension or alarm
2.
to fill with depression or discouragement
noun
3.
consternation or agitation
Derived Forms
dismaying, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French desmaiier (unattested), from des-dis-1 + esmayer to frighten, ultimately of Germanic origin; see may1
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 dismayed

dismay

v.

late 13c., dismaien, from Old French *desmaier (attested only in past participle dismaye), from Latin de- intensive prefix + Old French esmaier "to trouble, disturb," from Vulgar Latin *exmagare "divest of power or ability" (source of Italian smagare "to weaken, dismay, discourage"), from ex- (see ex-) + Germanic stem *mag- "power, ability" (cf. Old High German magen "to be powerful or able;" see may (v.)). Spanish desmayer "to be dispirited" is a loan word from Old French. Related: Dismayed; dismaying.

dismay

n.

c.1300, from dismay (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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