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

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

dismayedness [dis-meyd-nis, -mey-id-] , noun
dismayingly, adverb
undismayed, adjective

1. appall, terrify, frighten, scare, intimidate, disconcert. See discourage. 4. consternation, terror, panic, horror, fear.

1. hearten. 4. confidence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dismay (dɪsˈmeɪ)
1.  to fill with apprehension or alarm
2.  to fill with depression or discouragement
3.  consternation or agitation
[C13: from Old French desmaiier (unattested), from des-dis-1 + esmayer to frighten, ultimately of Germanic origin; see may1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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
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Example sentences
To the dismay of scholars, the publishing giant quietly purges articles from
  its database.
To our dismay we did not see this rare creature.
She unzipped the door, and a blast of cold air filled our humble abode, much to
  our dismay.
My dismay is so great, I can't put it into words.
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