- Dismay is defined as a sudden or total loss of courage.
An example of dismay is feeling defeated after applying to dozens of jobs and being offered none of them.
- The definition of dismay is to ruin the courage of someone.
An example of dismay is to jump out of the bushes attacking a once brave passerby.
dismay definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Middle English dismayen ; from Anglo-French an unverified form desmaier ; from des-, intensive plush Old French esmayer, to deprive of power ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form exmagare ; from Classical Latin ex-, from plush Germanic base an unverified form mag, power: see main
dismay definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb dis·mayed, dis·may·ing, dis·mays
- To destroy the courage or resolution of by exciting dread or apprehension.
- To cause to lose enthusiasm; disillusion: was dismayed to learn that her favorite dancer used drugs.
- To upset or alarm.
Origin: Middle English dismaien, from Anglo-Norman *desmaiier : probably de-, intensive pref.; see de- + Old French esmaier, to frighten (from Vulgar Latin *exmagāre, to deprive of power : Latin ex-, ex- + Germanic *magan, to be able to; see magh- in Indo-European roots).
- dis·mayˈing·ly adverb