dismay

[ dis-mey ]
/ dɪsˈmeɪ /

verb (used with object)

to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble; dishearten thoroughly; daunt: The surprise attack dismayed the enemy.
to surprise in such a manner as to disillusion: She was dismayed to learn of their disloyalty.
to alarm; perturb: The new law dismayed some of the more conservative politicians.

noun

sudden or complete loss of courage; utter disheartenment.
sudden disillusionment.
agitation of mind; perturbation; alarm.

Origin of dismay

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

SYNONYMS FOR dismay

4 consternation, terror, panic, horror, fear.

Related forms

dis·mayed·ness [dis-meyd-nis, -mey-id-] /dɪsˈmeɪd nɪs, -ˈmeɪ ɪd-/, noundis·may·ing·ly, adverbun·dis·mayed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dismay

British Dictionary definitions for dismay

dismay

/ (dɪsˈmeɪ) /

verb (tr)

to fill with apprehension or alarm
to fill with depression or discouragement

noun

consternation or agitation

Derived Forms

dismaying, adjective

Word Origin for dismay

C13: from Old French desmaiier (unattested), from des- dis- 1 + esmayer to frighten, ultimately of Germanic origin; see may 1
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