Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to dismaying: dreading
tr.v. dis·mayed, dis·may·ing, dis·mays
1. To cause to lose enthusiasm or resolution; disillusion or discourage: "young executives dismayed by the corporate ladder" (Peter Grose). See Synonyms at discourage.
2. To upset or distress: "Parents may be dismayed by the mess from sand or paint spread around by the pair or group at play" (Elizabeth Noble).
A sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger.
[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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.