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[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.
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
Related forms
[dis-meyd-nis, -mey-id-] /dɪsˈmeɪd nɪs, -ˈmeɪ ɪd-/ (Show IPA),
dismayingly, adverb
undismayed, adjective
1. appall, terrify, frighten, scare, intimidate, disconcert. See discourage. 4. consternation, terror, panic, horror, fear.
1. hearten. 4. confidence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for undismayed
Historical Examples
  • There was a threatening noise from the crowd, but Franklin was undismayed.

    Facing the German Foe Colonel James Fiske
  • But the great man presented to him a calm and undismayed face.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • For all that, he stood his ground not a whit the less resolutely, and looked on undismayed.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • “And she has other good stories, too, you ought to hear,” continued Nan undismayed.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • undismayed, Coach Mulford sent in three new substitutes, one of them in place of Pope.

    The Turner Twins Ralph Henry Barbour
  • She moved, frail and undismayed, to the source of revelation.

  • undismayed and unmoved amidst this dreadful tempest, he observed every movement and gave orders with the utmost coolness.

  • Madame O—— sat with them, undismayed by their frightful deportment.

  • He was very grateful for the presence of this cheery and undismayed believer in the spirit world.

  • But, undismayed, Washington ordered the army to move at dark.

British Dictionary definitions for undismayed


verb (transitive)
to fill with apprehension or alarm
to fill with depression or discouragement
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 undismayed

1610s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of dismay.



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.


c.1300, from dismay (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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