follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

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
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- + *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. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for dis-may

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dis-may
dismay
c.1300, from O.Fr. *desmaier, from L. de- intensive prefix + O.Fr. esmaier "to trouble, disturb," from V.L. *exmagare "divest of power or ability," from P.Gmc. stem *mag- "power, ability" (cf. O.H.G. magen "to be powerful or able;" see may (v.)). Related: Dismayed.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for dismay

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dis

4
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with dis-may